In an earlier blog about 5G, John mentioned that its implementation and widespread adoption would connect more and more “things” to the internet resulting in a whole lot more IP’s being needed. I thought I should follow up on a little information on IPv6 and how to get ready for it.
Your email, internet phone, web surfing, movie streaming and everything else that runs on the internet rely on a networking protocol called IPv4. Simply put, IPv4 provides addresses for internet connected devices so they can find and communicate with each other. The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) is the group that hands out these addresses handed out the last pool for North America back in April of 2011. The sky is not falling, there are still big blocks of unused IPs in these pools and ISP’s are recycling unused IPS. But soon or rather than later, IPv4 will not support Internet growth.
What is IPv6?
The next generation of internet addressing is IPV6. It main difference from IPV4 is that instead of just 4.3 billion IP’s, IPv6 allows for trillions of trillions of trillions of addresses. That’s a 3 followed by 38 zeros. It should be plenty for generations of internet users to come.
When will the transition to IPv6 occur? How much longer will IPv4 work?
The transition to IPv6 has already begun but will take many years before it is the predominant internet addressing protocol. In the meantime, there is no countdown to the day when IPv4 addresses will stop working. However, an increasing amount of Internet content and applications will be available only at IPv6 addresses. In order to ensure access to these in the future, consumers should ensure that new equipment and software they purchase is IPv6 ready.
What will it take to move to IPv6?
As mentioned earlier, IPv6 is live now and many of the major internet providers already support IPv6 traffic. Websites are getting IPv6 addresses. On the consumer side, Windows, Mac and Linux Operating systems have supported IPv6 for years. Most mobile phones are compatible now too. Routers and Switches, Modems and other networking device makers are implementing too but because these have long operational lives, they aren’t as far along in deployment. You can check manufacturer websites to see if your network devices are compatible. When you are ready to upgrade your IT hardware, compatibility with IPv6 should be a must have.
Here are a couple of links to sites that will give you more information on your current IPV6 status.
- Test-IPv6.com will check to see if your ISP is able to access IPv6 addressed websites.
- http://ipv6-test.com/validate.php checks if a webserver is running IPv6
What if I decide to stick with IPv4?
At the moment there is little to no pressure to upgrade. Although currently available, IPv6 is a long way from majority acceptance and implementation. IPv4 will work for years to come. The push to IPv6 addressing will probably focus on new technology, the Internet of Things. Due to the limited number of IPv4 addresses remaining for assignment, some new websites and services may only get IPv6 addresses and will not be accessible over IPv4 but they will be few and far between. Even though you may not be converting over anytime soon, you should still make sure that any new IT purchases will support IPv6, just in case.
Teledata Select offers a whole range of services that will help you meet your business goals. Starting with a complimentary review of your current telecommunication bills to identify errors and find opportunities for savings, better service and more functionality. We also offer project management for new service implementation and infrastructure installs, including fiber and low voltage cabling. Call us at 404-257-1502 to discuss your current Telecom Service Solution and what you would like to get out of it. Or send us a note via This Link to start a no obligation discussion of your specific business technology needs.
Don Miller is a PMP certified Project Manager located in Charlotte, NC. He has come to Teledata Select via Seattle, New York and Washington DC. His experience running small to multi-million dollar projects in the Banking, Software, Telecommunications and Insurance Industries across the US has given him a wide range of business experience.