IPv6 Rolls Out Today!
June 6, 2012 – WORLDWIDE
I’m pleased to announce the official roll out date of IPv6 – TODAY! For those of you who don’t know what IPv6 is or the importance of it, let me sum it up by saying this transition is crucial for future connectivity as our current IP addressing method, IPv4, is near exhaustion.
Computers have these things called IP (Internet Protocol) addresses; they’re similar to phone numbers in that they are used for inter-computer and device communication. IPv4 uses 32-bit (four-byte) addresses, which limits the address space to 4,294,967,296 (equivalent equation is 2^32) addresses. You might think 4.2 million addresses is more than enough, however, putting reserved addresses aside that are used for private, governmental and experimental purposes, we’re left with insufficient addresses to meet the increasing growing demand of devices that need IPs in order to communicate over the internet.
Since the 1980s, it was apparent that the pool of available IPv4 addresses was being depleted at a rate that was not initially anticipated in the original design of the network address system. The threat of exhaustion was the motivation for remedial technologies, such as classful networks, Classless Inter-Domain Routing (CIDR) methods, and network address translation (NAT). Even with these remedies in place, they could not compensate for the unforeseen growth of the public internetwork.
Eventually, a 128-bit IPv6 network system was created, which has many… many… MANY more addresses available – 340,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 to be exact (2^128).
You get to continue to use the internet past 2016! Don’t worry, the transition from IPv4 to IPv6 will be an elongated and very smooth process that requires no action on the end-user’s behalf.
What does this mean for network administrators?
- Much larger address space
- SLAAC (Stateless address autoconfiguration)
- Mandatory IP security (IPSec was originally designed for IPv6 but was back-engineered for widespread deployment on IPv4 networks)
- Mobility (No need for readdressing for devices that hop from one access point to another)
For those that are interested in a full breakdown of how IPv6 works and it’s benefits, click here.
Believe me when I say I’m not the only network geek that’s excited about version 6 because with it in place, the global communication that the future and even some movies promise is that much closer to becoming a reality. The given numbers of addresses, scalability and flexibility of this system, its potential for triggering innovation and assisting collaboration is unbounded.
Automatic. Efficient. Scalable. IPv6.