Thursday, March 26, 2009

ipv6 is too long

Anyone else think ipv6 is stupid?

I like ipv4. Its short enough, and when you're in the same network, you can just remember the last 6 digits because the first (up to) 6 numbers don't change. ipv4 has 4+ billion combinations. I do see a problem with that. A normal person on the average will probably need 3 ip addresses. Work, home, mobile. And all the servers, routers, and unmanned devices in the world can probably take place of all the people who currently don't and will not need an ip in the future. Considering we close to 7 billion people now, and considering not all ipv6 addresses being addressable, we'll eventually run out.

The good thing about ipv4 is that DNS doesn't need to come into play. DNS is not accessible because there isn't one on the local network? Fine, no problem, computers can still talk (just give me the last 2 groups of number of your IP). DNS is not updated? No problem, we can talk in and out of the local intranet, just give me your number. DNS is down because rats chewed through some wires? Its ok. We can still send files locally. ipv6 on the other hand, the ipv6 addresses are ridiculously long. Its like trying to remember the cd key of your copy of windows. since when have you memorized one of those? People have problems writing legible phone numbers on scratch paper, or even typing them out. How much of a problem is it going to be to work directly with ipv6 numbers? Think of trying to troubleshoot a connection for an hour not knowing if the ipv6 address has a typo in it.

Or try reading one of these to someone over the phone:

Remember to say b as in boy, and d as in dog cause those 2 sound pretty much the same without any context. Might as well use alpha, bravo, charlie, delta, echo, and farfegnugen.

"Oh doesn't work? Can you read it back to me?"

Why do I say ipv6 is stupid? Well there are:
340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 combinations.

Is that too many? Well, here is some perspective. The earth is estimated to be 4.55 billion years old. Wee have gone through about 143,587,080,000,000,000,000 milliseconds (60 * 60 * 24 * 365.25 * 4,550,000,000 * 1000 milliseconds) so far.

Or to put it in better perspective, that means to exhaust ipv6, we would need to assign about 2156 ipv6 addresses for every millisecond, or 2,156,000 ip addresses a second for the next 5 billion years. Considering we have yet to fill 4 billion ip addresses for a population of 7 billion people, I'm going to go out on a limb and say, maybe this number is too big. Too big that it has more negatives than positives. If earth got so populated that if every surface on the planet was able to be stood on by a person, and we stood shoulder to shoulder with a person (with a person immediately in the front and back of you) on every available surface on the planet, then we built 1000 story buildings where we can do this at least a thousand times that would be a population of 5,502,532,127,000,000,000. Say because of nanotechnology, we have to give each cell in the human body an ip address. (we have about 5-10 trillion cells per human body). We would still have the luxury of giving 100,000 ip addresses for each cell in the human body, of every person if the population grew to 5,502,532,127,000,000,000 in 5 billion years.

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