IPv4 is OVER. Really. So quit relying on it in new protocols, sheesh

Internet Architecture Board grabs stake, eyes coffin: 'Still not dead? Let's fix that'

Well, that took a while. Eighteen years after the IETF brought us IPv6 as an answer to then-looming-now-upon-us IPv4 address exhaustion, the Internet Architecture Board says: no more.

Getting IPv6 into the field has been a long, slow slog. According to Google, IPv6 carries just 14.6 per cent of search requests to the web giant.

Since the v4 address pool is pretty much exhausted, the IAB says people writing new standards and protocols need to focus on IPv6 “without being dependent on IPv4.”

“The IETF as well as other standards development organizations need to ensure that their standards do not assume IPv4,” the IAB said in a statement on Monday.

Grudgingly, the board – which is an IETF oversight committee – acknowledges that dual-stack implementations and backwards-compatible connectivity “will be needed for some time.”

However, in the faint hope that carriers and ISPs will give up their put-it-off-with-a-really-big-NAT, the IAB wants the IETF and other standards writers to embark on what could be the Internet's biggest ever documentation rewrite: “We recommend that existing standards be reviewed to ensure they will work with IPv6, and use IPv6 examples.”

Good luck with that. ®

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