Re: IPv6

Dave AA6YQ

+ AA6YQ comments below
Well, I think there are lots of advantages of moving to IPv6.... but mostly from a large enterprise perspective. For example, large enterprises are running out of RFC-1918 addresses. Interoperability is a pain. For example, when two companies merge, they most likely have overlapping address space, which causes one part of the company to renumber or install translation mechanisms. So IPv6 is a great option because you can solve these problems with unique IP address space. Note - running an IPv6 network and an IPv4 network essentially means you're running two networks. So ditching IPv4 lets you get back to running a single network.

Most people don't even know they are already running IPv6. It's enabled by default in Windows, Linux and Macs. If you have a provider like Comcast, you can bet you're running IPv6. After you get past the long addresses, it's really pretty cool.

However, from the perspective of a typical Ham, IPv6 doesn't buy much at all. They probably have a 192.168.x.x address on their LAN and it gets translated into another IPv4 address at their router. All the DX clusters have IPv4 addresses, etc. So why change?

In general, the world is moving towards IPv6. 35% of the google traffic is now IPv6. As I wrote above, there is a business case for IPv6. The Feds are supposed to be IPv6 only by 2025. So eventually, we need to figure out how to move to IPv6 to simplify management. Unfortunately, applications that don't support IPv6 impede the transition. You can't turn off IPv4 and there isn't a cleaver mechanism to translate IPv4 into IPv6. There is for the other way around. (e.g. DNS64/NAT64)

Is the sky falling - no, of course not. IPv4 will be around for a long time, especially for typical home installations. However, I think IPv6 should be on the roadmap. At a minimum, there should be some research into adding it to DXLAB. I'm not a programmer, so I don't know how hard it would be to add.

+ Based on this Microsoft document

+ support for IPv6 would require updating each DXLab application to switch from one set of Microsoft network components to another, and to enable users to specify the much larger IP addresses required by IPv6. None of this is likely rocket science, but the testing and tuning efforts alone would be significant, especially for a performance-sensitive application like SpotCollector. Since as you point out IPv6 provides no benefit to the typical ham, spending time on an IPv6 update instead of on the many other tasks on the enhancement lists cannot be justified.

+ Note that I do not publish a Roadmap for DXLab. What I publish are my priorities:

1. answering questions

2. correcting reported defects in the DXLab applications or their documentation

3. implementing high-value, low-cost enhancements

4. implementing high-value enhancements

Hopefully, this doesn't start some sort of long string of e-mails. I'm just asking the question because I didn't know. 
+ Your question was entirely appropriate. Whenever someone poses a question about something not on my radar, I consider it as an opportunity to be educated.


              Dave, AA6YQ

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