[KyOSS Discuss] Suggested discussion topic: IPv4 address exhaustion and IPv6 adoption

Barton Chittenden bartonski at gmail.com
Sun Sep 16 15:25:37 EDT 2012

On September 14, RIPE NCC, the European regional internet registry, started
allocating IP addresses from its last /8 address block. This is the
beginning of the end of the allocation of the IPv4 address space (i.e.
addresses of the form xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx) as we know it. Allocation of IPv4
addresses in Europe is now strictly rationed.

ARIN (American Registry of Internet Numbers) will be down to its last /8 by
this time next year.

The long term solution to this problem is to start using IPv6 addresses,
which are essentially unlimited (The address space is so large that you
could assign about a thousand times the current internet address space to
each cell of every one of the 7 billion people on earth).

The problem of switching to IPv6 is a chicken-and-egg problem: internet
users won't switch to IPv6 addresses because there are very few sites that
they can connect to which use IPv6, and no content providers use IPv6
addresses because no-one visits via IPv6. Most ISPs don't provide IPv6
addresses (or if they do, no-one realizes that they do).

There are some short-term solutions, but they destroy the point-to-point
nature of the internet which can cause problems.

I have a decent handle on what's happening and why, but I have zero
experience with setting up a network using IPv6... in many ways, it should
be transparent (as IPv4 is... you connect your computer to a router via
cat5 cable or wireless, and you're connected). Obviously, it's not *quite* that
easy, if it was, we would all be using IPv6 and we wouldn't be worrying
about running out of address space.

I was wondering if some of the local network gurus could give a talk about

   - A primer on IP addresses in general
   - What physical steps do I need to take to set up an IPv6 network? (e.g.
   a LAN).
   - Are there any issues involved with running both IPv4 and IPv6 on the
   same network?
   - How do I connect to the internet via IPv6?
   - Will my ISP provide IPv6 addresses?
   - Are there security issues involved with using IPv6, and if so, how do
   I fix these?
   - ...

Any takers? I would be willing to do the presentation, but, as I said, I
have *zero* practical experience, and I think that the topic deserves more
than hand-waving.

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