IPv6: Are You Ready?

As IPv6 is around the corner and set to grow in the coming few years, are you ready for it yet?

Find out using this test if your network are ready for IPv6.

IPv6IPv6 is an IP address standard designed to replace the current IPv4 protocol, which has been in use since the 1980s for routing Internet traffic. The new protocol has been available for several years now and supports several magnitudes more address spaces than IPv4, while also providing better security and reliability.

For more than 30 years, 32-bit addresses have served us well,but the growth of the Internet has mandated a need for more addresses than is possible with IPv4. IPv6 allows for vastly more addresses. IPv6 is the only long-term solution,  it has not yet been widely deployed. With IPv4 addresses expected to run out in 2011, only 0.2% of Internet users have native IPv6 connectivity.

Decomposition of an IPv6 address into its binary form.

Decomposition of an IPv6 address into its binary form.

While IPv4 allows 32 bits for an Internet Protocol address, and can therefore support 232 (4,294,967,296) addresses, IPv6 uses 128-bit addresses, so the new address space supports 2128 (approximately 340 undecillion or 3.4×1038) addresses. This expansion allows for many more devices and users on the internet as well as extra flexibility in allocating addresses and efficiency for routing traffic. It also eliminates the primary need for network address translation (NAT), which gained widespread deployment as an effort to alleviate IPv4 address exhaustion.

On 8 June, 2011, top websites and Internet service providers around the world, including Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, Akamai and Limelight Networks joined together with more than 1000 other participating websites in World IPv6 Day for a successful global-scale trial of the new Internet Protocol, IPv6. By providing a coordinated 24-hour “test flight”, the event helped demonstrate that major websites around the world are well-positioned for the move to a global IPv6-enabled Internet, enabling its continued exponential growth.

Organised by the Internet Society, the project was intended to raise awareness about the need to start the global transition to IPv6 and to enable participants to gather data about potential glitches.

Many of the problems are likely to stem from the simple facts that IPv6 is far newer and untested technology compared with IPv4, and that the two protocols will need to coexist for several years.

The real test of the IPv6 protocol, however, will come when companies start migrating to it in earnest in the next few years.

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