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IPonyV6 May 21, 2012 3:59 PM   Subscribe

Is Metafilter participating in World IPv6 Day? Can we get IPv6 connectivity?

My new ISP supports IPv6 and I've been browsing v6 only on a netbook for giggles. The Google empire and Facebook is accessible, but very little else besides certain tech sites.
posted by khedron to Feature Requests at 3:59 PM (66 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Nope, we're not participating. We haven't ever discussed IPv6. Let's discuss it here. Want to make the case for it?
posted by pb (staff) at 4:08 PM on May 21, 2012


It has more.
posted by ryanrs at 4:17 PM on May 21, 2012 [10 favorites]


Yes. 2 more.

Or is this one of those wacky "let's skip numbers willy-nilly," and there's only one more, but we're pretending there are 2 more?
posted by filthy light thief at 4:18 PM on May 21, 2012


What ever happened to IPv5?
posted by jedicus at 4:20 PM on May 21, 2012


Oh, IPv5 was just handed out to any old project. And you wonder why the internet is such a hodge-podge mess.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:20 PM on May 21, 2012


Jinx!
posted by filthy light thief at 4:20 PM on May 21, 2012


It has 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,427,473,244,160 more.
posted by ryanrs at 4:21 PM on May 21, 2012 [9 favorites]


  • IPv6 only users that access IPv4 content have to do so via a relay/router, slowing access.
  • It has to be done eventually.
  • Network administration is fun!

posted by khedron at 4:31 PM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Want to make the case for it?

Cellphones. Also, atoms of the universe.
posted by DU at 4:44 PM on May 21, 2012


Isn't IPv6 the nuclear fusion of the internet? Like, it has been 3 years away for the last 12 years, and will be 3 years away for the next 12.
posted by Chuckles at 4:55 PM on May 21, 2012 [12 favorites]


... nuclear fusion ...

Gallium arsenide is the wave of the future. Always has been. Always will be.
posted by Bruce H. at 5:04 PM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Seems like a good idea to at least try a pilot program at some point to see what the problems are, but I'd think an alternative server would be a good idea.
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:20 PM on May 21, 2012


Chuckles: "Isn't IPv6 the nuclear fusion of the internet? Like, it has been 3 years away for the last 12 years, and will be 3 years away for the next 12."

Horribly, this is closer to the truth than not.
posted by boo_radley at 5:36 PM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


IPv6 already works, AFAIK, so the fusion analogy is kind of off the mark. IPv6 is more like the dollar coin of the Internet: we badly need to switch to it but they won't stop making the old one to force the issue.
posted by DU at 5:56 PM on May 21, 2012 [16 favorites]


Isn't IPv6 the nuclear fusion of the internet? Like, it has been 3 years away for the last 12 years, and will be 3 years away for the next 12.

I guess it is but unlike the energy world we've hit a point which can be conclusively defined as "Peak IPv4".

So at this point we either have to adopt it or we all collapse into a heap as the Internet equivalent of a slow motion car crash occurs.

Also, relevant reason why we should do this.
posted by Talez at 5:58 PM on May 21, 2012


OK, I understand the basics. But what would be the direct advantages to Metafilter in implementing the new protocol? Disadvantages? Would the site still be accessible to people whose internet service providers / networks still only process IPv4 and haven't yet implemented IPv6?
posted by zarq at 6:14 PM on May 21, 2012


This is a request for metafilter to do what?
posted by cjorgensen at 6:22 PM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't think MeFi would have to "implement" anything. Just tell the ISP to turn on IPv6. Maybe there are some hardcoded addresses here and there.

But I'm far from an expert. Very far. In fact, I'm going to cancel this comment.
posted by DU at 6:46 PM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Damn you, IPv6!
posted by DU at 6:46 PM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just tell the ISP to turn on IPv6.

Probably more. Plenty of libraries and modules do not support IPv6 properly. Also things like databases -- if they log IPs, what structure is used? Will it hold an IPv6 address?

I did some of the IPv6 work on YouTube and there are a bunch of little things that get you once you start testing.

The initial issue for metafilter appears to be the lack of an AAAA record.

Once that exists it would be possible to test any code that doesn't handle the larger addresses / different format.
posted by wildcrdj at 6:50 PM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Although DNS thing could be a red herring, many DNS providers selectively hand out AAAA records based on various criteria for now. Pre-ipv6 worldwide launch, google does this for example (see bottom).
posted by wildcrdj at 6:59 PM on May 21, 2012


I love that it's called an "AAAA" record.

(32-bit IPv4 uses A records, 128-bit IPv6 is 4x as long, hence AAAA.)
posted by ryanrs at 7:01 PM on May 21, 2012


I just want to say that pb has been an absolute Monster of Metatalk these last few days. Go pb!
posted by Scientist at 7:17 PM on May 21, 2012


IPv6 only users that access IPv4 content have to do so via a relay/router, slowing access.

???
posted by ericost at 7:28 PM on May 21, 2012


Once you get IPv6 you'll never have missing laundry problems ever again, as each of your socks will have their own IP address.
~> tracert right.blue3.nubbly.stockings.clothes.benitostrauss.net

Tracing route to right.blue.nubbly.stockings.clothes.benitostrauss.net [2001:db8::1428:57ab]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

  1    <1 ms    <1 ms    <1 ms  192.168.1.1 
  2    15 ms    10 ms    10 ms  apartment.benitostrauss.net [2001:db8::1400:1001] 
  3    11 ms     9 ms     9 ms  chairs.apartment.benitostrauss.net [2001:db8::1400:1c01] 
  4     8 ms     9 ms     9 ms  brownleather.chairs.apartment.benitostrauss.net [2001:db8::1400:1c80] 
  5    15 ms    16 ms    16 ms  beneath.brownleather.chairs.apartment.benitostrauss.net  [2001:db8::140:1c81] 
  6    23 ms    21 ms    16 ms  right.blue3.nubbly.stockings.clothes.benitostrauss.net [2001:db8::1428:57ab]
Ah, there it is!

[Joke stolen from someone that I can't find with google. "Socks" doesn't really do much to narrow down a search containing the term "IPv6".
posted by benito.strauss at 8:09 PM on May 21, 2012 [26 favorites]


Will it hold an IPv6 address?

Ours won't. Yeah, that's something we'd need to address in the database and code. So it wouldn't be as easy as asking someone to flip a switch.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:11 PM on May 21, 2012


cjorgensen: "This is a request for metafilter to do what"

I think it's a test to make sure MetaFilter doesn't have kidney stones.
posted by Dr. Zira at 8:13 PM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


The problem with IPv6 was the insistence that....

1) every device have an accessible IPv6 address and...
2) that subsuming the IPv4 address space was wrong.

If they'd made IPv4 reachable without tunnels, we'd have done this ages ago. But when you try to define a standard that says "You cannot connect to the Internet," you have done it wrong.

We will never again have a Flag Day in software. The network is too big, and it has too much inertia. The only way you could make it happen would be to take something that is essential to a large percentage of humanity and yank it into the IPv6 without automatic tunneling, it won't happen.

And since Google and Facebook are now publicly held, that won't happen.

The thing is -- every time we're told that we're running out of addresses, we come up with a way to save address space. First was CIDR, next was NAT. Now that routers have memory, if we push BGP into /28 spaces, not /24, we can increase the number of terminations by a factor of 16 -- and it all works *with the current internet as we know it.* -- and hell, we should push BGP to a new version first. If it supports 32 bit AS numbers, we can push it down to the /30, and have a network of endpoints, each capable of handling 16M addresses, and *not need to change any other thing on the network*

But, okay, fine, we'll all be running IPv6. Just like we all will have aircars and fusion power plants.
posted by eriko at 8:37 PM on May 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


[Joke stolen from someone that I can't find with google. "Socks" doesn't really do much to narrow down a search containing the term "IPv6".

That's why you need to use a socks proxy. Duh doy.
posted by Talez at 9:02 PM on May 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


Uh, since when has IPv6 required every address be reachable from the global Internet? There are these things, they are called firewalls. We use them for IPv4, why would we not use them for IPv6? Moreover, a flag day is not necessary. It's not as if some people haven't been running dual stack for a decade or more.

Good to see that the FUD is still strong.
posted by wierdo at 9:03 PM on May 21, 2012


I don't think MeFi would have to "implement" anything. Just tell the ISP to turn on IPv6.

More true than you think, because their ISP will respond "durr IPv6 what that? we can't count any higher than 4" (then you point out they advertise IPv6 capability on their page, and they say, yeah, okay, we're future-looking! we can do IPv6! but we don't let anyone USE it or anything but really it'll be available any day now, but nobody actually asks for IPv6, so we won't ever offer it, oh and you can't have another IPv4 address because they're so scarce.)

Uh, I mean, hypothetically, this is the conversation you could have with your ISP over and over again every year if you wanted.
posted by hattifattener at 9:23 PM on May 21, 2012


Now that routers have memory, if we push BGP into /28 spaces, not /24,

Heh. I was afraid the IP Address-depletion police were going to pick me up when I was assigned a /24 for my multihoming setup, since I previously only had 20 static addresses....but no, BGP gets you a /24 whether you want it or need it. I can't imagine how much space must be wasted among all the other networks like mine.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 9:26 PM on May 21, 2012


Ipv6 is one of those things that I'm doubting will ever happen. There's gonna be some cray-cray quantum networking technology that will use dark matter to tangle-encrypt light wavelets to transmit zambobo-bits per second wirelessly to your iBrain before ipv6 even gets off the runway.
posted by roboton666 at 10:00 PM on May 21, 2012


We will never again have a Flag Day in software. The network is too big, and it has too much inertia. The only way you could make it happen would be to take something that is essential to a large percentage of humanity and yank it into the IPv6 without automatic tunneling, it won't happen.

There doesn't need to be a flag day. We have routers and terminals capable of running dual stack. My mobile phone transparently picks up IPv6 where available and will route through it if it picks up a router and gets an AAAA address back from DNS servers.

The transition will be complete when L3/AT&T/Verizon/Centurylink decide to kill IPv4. At that point any holdouts left will be isolated from the larger internet but for the most part people probably won't notice.

It's much like how MP3 has almost been usurped by AAC, how MP4 is starting usurp XviD and how flash drives usurped floppy disks. You just wake up one morning and go "Shit, my connection is IPv6. When the fuck did that happen?" You don't recall making any conscious choice, you don't really recall what you did with all your old stuff. You just look at the situation and realise that every box in the house is on Wi-Fi and every game you've owned in the last decade is pretty much on your Steam account despite you swearing a decade ago that you could never give away your blue cord and boxed copies.

Meanwhile some idiots will still be there with their heads in the sand going "IPv6 will never happen!" up until the turned the lights off. Just like the people who didn't really believe they'd ever turn off analog TV.
posted by Talez at 10:11 PM on May 21, 2012 [5 favorites]


Would the site still be accessible to people whose internet service providers / networks still only process IPv4 and haven't yet implemented IPv6?
The site would be dual-stacked, so no loss of service to IPv4 users.

IPv6 only users that access IPv4 content have to do so via a relay/router, slowing access.

???

See NAT64 / DNS64
posted by khedron at 10:29 PM on May 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Lightweights. I'm already running IPV8, every address has 4096 bits of piston-pumpin' power. On my network, each particle in the universe could consume the entire IPV6 address space every femtosecond between the big bang and the big crunch. Twice.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:30 PM on May 21, 2012

"There's gonna be some cray-cray quantum networking technology that will use dark matter to tangle-encrypt light wavelets to transmit zambobo-bits per second wirelessly to your iBrain before ipv6 even gets off the runway."
Honestly, that's what the IPv6 is for.
posted by Edogy at 10:31 PM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


cray-cray quantum networking technology that will use dark matter to tangle-encrypt light wavelets to transmit zambobo-bits per second wirelessly to your iBrain

Hey, if you'd watched Serial Experiments Lain, you'd know that's IPv7.
posted by hattifattener at 10:44 PM on May 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


> It's much like how MP3 has almost been usurped by AAC,

You own a Mac, don't you?
posted by benito.strauss at 10:45 PM on May 21, 2012 [10 favorites]


You own a Mac, don't you?

Yeah. I do. What of it? I'm also typing this on my Windows 7 box using Chrome.

Over half the legal music sales in the United States come in the AAC format. Support for AAC has long been ubiquitous in devices that play audio. DRM+ and DAB+ both use AAC for the next generation of digital radio as does DVB-T for digital TV outside the US and Japan.

The process has started and has been well underway for a while now.
posted by Talez at 11:29 PM on May 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


I love that it's called an "AAAA" record.

Once it becomes commonplace, network administration insiders will of course refer to it as a Fonzie record.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:14 AM on May 22, 2012 [8 favorites]


Is there any real advantage to Metafilter adopting IPv6, aside from embracing a new, cutting-edge technology?

(And, looking at the interface here, we all know how important that tradition has been.)
posted by crunchland at 2:02 AM on May 22, 2012


It isn't embracing a new, cutting-edge technology, it's preparing for the (hopefully) inevitable.
posted by Apoch at 5:52 AM on May 22, 2012


We should go to IPv7 and get a jump on everybody else for nest time.
posted by dirtdirt at 6:23 AM on May 22, 2012


wierdo: "Uh, since when has IPv6 required every address be reachable from the global Internet? There are these things, they are called firewalls. We use them for IPv4, why would we not use them for IPv6? Moreover, a flag day is not necessary. It's not as if some people haven't been running dual stack for a decade or more."

Firewalls can (and should) continue to exist with IPv6, but a lot of folks seem to be confused by the fact that NAT was never really intended to function as a firewall.

Individual devices can (and should) be uniquely addressable via the public internet, and it's possible to do that safely. Machines and devices can have public addresses AND be firewalled. There's no technical reason why you can't have it both ways. NAT is an ugly, ugly hack that unnecessarily breaks the internet.

We shouldn't switch to IPv6 because we're eventually going to run out of IPv4 address space. We should switch to IPv6 because we ran out of IPv4 address space years ago, and have been rationing it ever since. Nobody ever intended for each household to be limited to a single public IP address, and for NAT to become a standard practice.
posted by schmod at 7:45 AM on May 22, 2012 [6 favorites]


We should go to IPv7 and get a jump on everybody else for nest time.

Actually, codices containing ancient Mayan RFCs discovered in the 1930s state that IPv6 will be the final version of the Internet Protocol.
posted by XMLicious at 8:26 AM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's much like how MP3 has almost been usurped by AAC

Ha

Over half the legal music sales in the United States come in the AAC format. Support for AAC has long been ubiquitous in devices that play audio. DRM+ and DAB+ both use AAC for the next generation of digital radio as does DVB-T for digital TV outside the US and Japan.

That's kind of like saying AZW format has almost usurped TXT as a text format because of Amazon's massive market share in ebook and ereader sales. When the scene switches from MP3 for lossy encoded audio to something else, like their recent switch from AVI to MP4, that's when MP3 will have been usurped.
posted by burnmp3s at 8:54 AM on May 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


You're living in the past
posted by burnaacs at 8:55 AM on May 22, 2012 [12 favorites]


> It has 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,427,473,244,160 more.

Just like cable. 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,427,473,244,160 channels and nothing on any of them.
posted by jfuller at 9:10 AM on May 22, 2012


I just checked on a private tracker I use, and it's roughly 60% MP3, 35% FLAC, and 5% AAC. It would be interesting to see the numbers' growth over time but don't have that handy.
posted by Edogy at 9:33 AM on May 22, 2012


XMLicious: " Actually, codices containing ancient Mayan RFCs discovered in the 1930s state that IPv6 will be the final version of the Internet Protocol."

Three hundred and fourty undecillion IPs should be enough for anyone.
posted by Plutor at 10:17 AM on May 22, 2012


I would rather have "remove from recent activity" on iOS than this pony. But this is an opportunity for Metafilter to be a shining beacon of correctness in a filthy, filthy internet.
posted by jeffamaphone at 10:40 AM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Three hundred and fourty undecillion IPs should be enough for anyone.

Not enough to appease the death god B'olon-Yokte' when he comes to destroy the world. So it is written in the IETF memorandums, the first ping across an Internet united by IPv6 shall herald the ITpocalypse.
posted by XMLicious at 10:50 AM on May 22, 2012


Not enough to appease the death god B'olon-Yokte' when he comes to destroy the world. So it is written in the IETF memorandums, the first ping across an Internet united by IPv6 shall herald the ITpocalypse.

I'll just set my firewall to discard all incoming traffic with the evil bit set. Where is your B'olon-Yokte' now?
posted by Talez at 11:16 AM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I know I'm supposed to say this in a snarky or cutesy way which references ponies or lossless audio formats but I support a rollout of IPv6 on Metafilter. Reasons to do it include: it's a challenge, and you're going to have to do it at some point anyway.
posted by antonymous at 11:23 AM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Privacy

Like IPv4, IPv6 supports globally unique static IP addresses, which can be used to track a single device's Internet activity. Most devices are used by a single user, so a device's activity is often assumed to be equivalent to a user's activity. This is a cause for concern to anyone who has political, social, or economic reasons for keeping their Internet activity secret.


So obviously mefi needs IPv6 to preserve user privacy! But I figure this is somewhere between "HTTPS everywhere" and "threaded comments" on the Going to be Implemented scale.
posted by pwnguin at 11:43 AM on May 22, 2012


Ipv6 is one of those things that I'm doubting will ever happen

Depends on what you mean. It exists _now_ and you can use it right now. It's not some "future" technology.

Situation right now is like when both analog and digital TV broadcasts existed. They co-exist, you can use either, your old devices will continue to use IPv4.

Someday, ISPs/sites may stop supporting it, just like eventually TV broadcasts in analog stopped.

Of course, this will happen even slower since there is no central authority for that.


Over half the legal music sales in the United States come in the AAC format

Yes, but all from basically one store. Most of the other audio stores (Amazon, Google, etc) use MP3.

Really, supporting multiple codecs for audio is much easier than video, so there's no reason for it to converge on a single codec. MP3, Vorbis, and AAC are all widely used and supported.
posted by wildcrdj at 11:44 AM on May 22, 2012


Oh, and it's worth mentioning that Comcast (of all people) are aggressively pushing IPv6 out across their entire network. A whole lot of users are going to have IPv6 support very soon.

It's basically the only laudable thing they've ever done, but it's a big one.
posted by schmod at 12:55 PM on May 22, 2012


So...Is there a non-geek-oriented site that would clearly explain to a civilian what they would have to do to get their odd conglomeration of not-exactly-spanking-new modem, router, and Macs ready for IPv6? I've yet to see anything that doesn't seem written by admins for admins.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:07 PM on May 22, 2012


Thorzdad: "So...Is there a non-geek-oriented site that would clearly explain to a civilian what they would have to do to get their odd conglomeration of not-exactly-spanking-new modem, router, and Macs ready for IPv6?"

I put in this askme last month. Comcast hasn't "flipped the switch" yet, so I can't say whether the purchase is working as planned, but I can say that I'll likely have to buy a new wifi router to make it happen.

On the plus side, I think OSX is ipv6 ready out of the box?
posted by pwnguin at 6:14 PM on May 22, 2012


Yeah, OSX will quietly start using IPv6 if your router advertises a route. (Or if you have more than one Mac on the network and link-local autoconfiguration starts up. Or some of Apple's services like BTMM actually run over IPv6 over tunnels.) So will MSWindows, as I understand it; and Linux and the BSDs either do or just require you to flip a switch. The client side of IPv6 support is already widely deployed: it's services and (most) ISPs that are lagging.
posted by hattifattener at 9:47 PM on May 22, 2012


For motivation: IPv4 will be getting more complicated, and have worse performance for some, as address-starved ISPs are getting to more desperate hacks like adding a second level of NAT (“carrier-grade NAT”). For these users, IPv6 connectivity (deployed at the same time as the horrible hacks) will sidestep the problems.

The plan for a site like MeFi would be to make sure the colo has good IPv6 connectivity, pick an address on their network and configure it statically, hand the address to beta-testers who put it in their /etc/hosts, and iron out the bugs like database fields for backend tools that only have room for an IPv4 address.
posted by Tobu at 1:19 AM on May 23, 2012


Wikipedia maintains a nice comparison of OS support for IPv6 DHCPv6 & ND RDNSS for the curious.
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:23 AM on May 23, 2012


I've been dual stack at home and at work for about a year now. As of a moth ago, my android phone is 100% ipv6 through t-mobile as well.

So much of what makes the internet a pain is that there are so many barriers between clients and servers. You only know my gateway address, so true bidirectional communication is all sorts of wonky. ipv6 fixed that.
posted by Freen at 12:31 PM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


We haven't ever discussed IPv6. Let's discuss it here. Want to make the case for it?

Every word in every post can be individually addressable. This will make it much easier to favorite specifically the words in the post that you like.

A side effect of this is that the number of favorites will explode, thus stroking everyone's ego.

In addition the use of IPv6 will attract the sort of avant garde Internet Protocol artistes that the site so desperately needs. Let's face it, our current crop of network experts are a jaded bunch of old fogies who would rather be using NetWare on token ring. Fresh young faces who believe unconditionally in the power of new technology would be excellent, if only to give us old fogies someone to feel superior to.

As you can see, IPv6 is a necessary addition to the site.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 12:34 PM on June 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Eh, my IPv6 connection is faster than my IPv4 connection, despite tunneling over my IPv4 connection to my IPv6 broker. I put this down to
a) my IPv6 tunnel broker peers with my ISP, so my traffic doesn't have to go via the congested general uplink from my ISP, but instead over the barely ticking tunnel broker uplink.
b) a LOT less hops

More seriously - asia is running out of IPv4 address space fast. Really fast. Places like Japan and South Korea are already starting to deploy IPv6 networks, especially for mobile connections. I expect to start seeing a significant uptick in the use of IPv6 only connections there in the near future, with NAT64/DNS64 in order to provide 'legacy' IPv4 access. That will mean metafilter users will be using shared congested proxies in effect to access the site without native IPv6 support. And IPv4 logging will be fairly useless under such a situation anyway.

There's a bit more time for western networks, as we got the lion's share of IPv4 address space, but IPv6 support will be much better for users who have been switched to IPv6 only networks, so it's worth looking into what's going to need to be upgraded in order to support it.

Just chucking an AAAA record up won't cut it, as pointed out, so it's better to start the groundwork while there's still a bit of life left in IPv4, rather than leave it to the last possible minute when it's already affecting usability for users.
posted by ArkhanJG at 4:47 PM on June 1, 2012


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