The new, larger version of the Internet: IPv6
What if the Internet ran out of room?
In fact, it's already happening.
Vint Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist at Google, and a founding father of the Internet, discusses the next version of the Internet, IPv6, and why we need it.
Why is the internet running out of room?
Just as phones use a system of phone numbers in order to place calls, every Internet-connected device gets a unique number known as an "IP address" that connects it to the global online network.
The problem is that the current Internet addressing system, IPv4, only has room for about 4 billion addresses -- not nearly enough for the world's people, let alone the devices that are online today and those that will be in the future: computers, phones, TVs, watches, fridges, cars, and so on. More than 4 billion devices already share addresses. As IPv4 runs out of free addresses, everyone will need to share.
How are we making space to grow?
Clearly the internet needs more IP addresses. How many more, exactly? Well, how about 340 trillion trillion trillion (or, 340,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,00 0)? That's how many addresses the internet's new "piping," IPv6, can handle. That's a number big enough to give everyone on Earth their own list of billions of IP addresses. Big enough, in other words, to offer the Internet virtually infinite room to grow, from now into the foreseeable future.
When is the transition happening?
At Google we believe IPv6 is essential to the continued health and growth of the Internet and that by allowing all devices to talk to each other directly, IPv6 enables new innovative services. Replacing the Internet's plumbing will take some time, but the transition has begun. World IPv6 Launch on June 6, 2012, marks the start of a coordinated rollout by major websites and Internet service and equipment providers.
You do not need to do anything to prepare, but if you're interested in learning more and supporting IPv6.
Re: The new, larger version of the Internet: IPv6
IPv6: Europe 'ahead' in new net address scheme
Norway is leading the way in preparing for the move to the net's new addressing scheme, a survey has shown.
The survey comes a month before World IPv6 day that will see many v6 websites permanently activated.
The new IPv6 scheme is needed because the older system, IP Version 4, is about to run out of addresses.
Compiled by Europe's net address overseer, Ripe Ncc, the report found Norway was ahead of Asian nations where IPv4 addresses are no longer available.
The UK sat just outside the top 20 of nations as only 17.3% of its networks can work with IPv6 traffic.
Every device attached to the internet needs what is known as an IP address to ensure data reaches the right destination.
Version 4 of the scheme defining the format of those addresses was drawn up in the 1970s. It made available a pool of about four billion addresses.
The rapid growth of the net and the web has rapidly drained the pool and exposed a need to move to IPv6. This has an effectively inexhaustible supply of addresses available.
World IPv6 launch today...To replace 27-yr old IPv4
The current version of the Internet Protocol IPv4 is about 27 year old l having many limitations. It is to be replaced by Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) to overcome the limitations.
Today, the traditional communication networks are undergoing a big change and are converging into packet based Next Generation Networks (NGN) which run on Internet Protocol (IP). The Internet Protocol is basically a communications protocol used for relaying packets of data across a network. The current version of the Internet Protocol IPv4 is about 27 year old l having many limitations. It is to be replaced by Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) to overcome the limitations.
On the occasion of the ‘World IPv6 Launch Day’ tomorrow (on 6th June 2012), major Internet Service Providers, networking equipment manufacturers and web companies around the world are coming together to permanently enable IPv6 for their products and services. This day, being organized by Internet Society, represents a major milestone in the global deployment of IPv6.It builds on the successful one-day ‘World IPv6 Day’ event held last year on 8 June wherein , top websites and Internet Service Providers around the world, joined together for a successful 24-hour global-scale trial of the new Internet Protocol, IPv6.
India has at present 35 million IPv4 addresses against a user base of about 360 million data users. In addition, Government is planning to have a target of 160 million and 600 million broadband customers by the year 2017 and 2020 respectively. Moreover, there is a strong security requirement to provide unique IP address to each individual data user. As IPv6 is not backward compatible with IPv4, the transition to IPv6 is likely to be a complex, mammoth and long term exercise during which both IPv4 and IPv6 will co-exist. In order to facilitate the widespread introduction of IPv6 in India, a policy document titled ‘National IPv6 Deployment Roadmap’ was released by the DoT in July 2010. The first initiative of its kind by a Government anywhere in the world, the roadmap’s main focus was to educate/ sensitise the Indian ecosystem about the issues related to IPv6 and enable it to take the first step in the transition towards IPv6. Accordingly, following policy decisions were taken:
* All major Service Providers will target to handle IPv6 traffic and offer IPv6 services by December-2011
* All Central and State government ministries and departments, including its PSUs, shall start using IPv6 services by March-2012.
* Formation of IPv6 Task Force
IPv6 goes live; 340 trillion trillion trillion IPs unlocked
Yesterday was World IPv6 day and a few companies and ISPs made the big move to IPv6. It’s considered to be a really big move for the Internet, but there have been many companies who haven’t made the move, just yet. The reason IPv6 is being adopted is because of the problem of IP address shortage. There is a limitation on the number of IPs that can be supported by the existing IPv6 standard and going by the increasing number of devices, the web is going to run out of IP addresses this year. IPv6 is here to provide a solution to this problem. It requires the entire Internet, which is a lot of connections, everything from devices to service providers to switch to the new standard. The IPv6 standard can support some 340000000000000000000000000000000000000 IP addresses, which means that you can have these many devices connected to the web with a unique IP address for each one.
Major sites, such as Time Warner, AT&T, D-Link, Google, Cisco, Facebook, Bing and Yahoo! were participating in the transition. However, many other popular mainstream sites didn’t make the move as well. They’re likely to make the move slowly, as time goes by. As of now, all the services that moved to IPv6 will still be accessible via connections using IPv4.
IPv6 transition has begun
The IPv6 launch site had a bunch of reactions from leading IT companies. "Last year’s industry-wide test of IPv6 successfully showed that the global adoption of IPv6 is the best way to keep web devices communicating in the future. Permanently enabling IPv6 is vital to keeping the Internet open and ensuring people stay connected online as the number of web users and devices continues to grow.”, said Jay Parikh, VP of Infrastructure Engineering at Facebook.
Vint Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist at Google had this to say about IPv6 implementation. “World IPv6 Launch marks a watershed moment in Internet history. It breaks the limits of the original address space to open a vast new territory, trillions upon trillions of times larger, and reinforces the end-to-end architecture that made the Internet so powerful at the beginning. Google strongly supports this upgrade. We’re happy to see that everyone is moving to the 21st-century Internet!”
On World IPv6 day, which was held on the 8th of June 2011, Internet companies indulged in a test - a technical exercise - to try their hands on their new address. A few popular services, namely Google, Facebook, Yahoo! and Akamai decided to test out IPv6, along with the Internet Society, an organization which handles Internet standards. The exercise was done to eliminate any issues that might crop up during the worldwide transition to IPv6, which currently has provisions for about four billion IPs.
For those who’ve gotten enterprising and have jumped on to the IPv6 bandwagon, the regular URLs should be accessible, anyway. ISPs everywhere, running outdated hardware, too will have to gear up to this impending change, and get in new hardware that would support the new addresses.
As far as the end user experience is concerned, there won’t be anything new with their Internet connections. Existing IPv4 addresses were made up of a sequence of four sets of numbers. IPv6 will assign six sets of numbers to different PCs. The move will virtually provide a really large number of IP addresses, something that won’t be exhausted anytime soon. IPv4 was started some 20 years back.
Tata Communications embraces the change to IPv6
The Internet was operational since 1983 and at the time there was no way that one could image as to what extent it will reach. With a rapid growth and after serving nearly 2.5 billion people and 11 billion devices, the Internet is apparently running out of space. This has prompted many global organizations to embrace the change from IPv4 to IPv6 and one of these companies is Tata Communications.
IPv6, embrace the change
In a release, Tata Communications state that a transition does not necessarily mean migration. They add further, "However, a transition does not necessarily mean migration; or in other words, as we transition to IPv6 as the new protocol for digital and electronic communication, it does not mean that we are going to abandon the internet as we know it. In fact, for most of the users, it is going to be a transparent transition, where their devices are going to be able to harness the powers of IPv4 and 6. While there are huge benefits at the back-end, leading to better security protocols and low maintenance, there are a few advantages that the user should also celebrate."
Commenting on the transition from IPv4 to IPv6, Tata Communications lists a few points that will benefit users:
Faster Internet: Because IPv6 will open up a huge range of IP addresses, direct routing of data becomes a possibility. As data does not have to be routed through many servers or nodes within a network, it can reach its destination faster.
More collaborative and shared Internet: With the abundance of IP addresses springing up, there is going to be more scope for multiple devices to be connected online. New platforms of collaborative knowledge production and sharing can be designed to become infinite and inclusive in their scale and architecture.
More connected devices: The inter-operability features of IPv6 ensure that more devices are able to communicate with each other with ease. Tata Communication states, “The science-fiction futuristic dream of a completely connected environment where human and artificial intelligence can work together, using a range of devices, is actually a material possibility with large scale IPv6 implementation. This can also trigger new innovation that helps reconstruct some of our existing devices in new forms and shapes.”
While affordability and the migration to new network infrastructure are the gating factors to this transition, these are diminishing costs and we are looking at more interesting internet architecture as Tata Communications' move towards IPv6. They end by stating, “Perhaps, one of the most reassuring points of this transition is that we do not need to abandon the familiar internet we are already working with; the transition is not a moving on, but a moving to, and in it are the promises of a safe, secure and speedy internet. Global technology organisations like Tata Communications have embraced this change; it’s only a matter of time before others too recognise the need for IPv6 and the huge difference it will make to our lives.”
Re: The new, larger version of the Internet: IPv6
The whole web is shifting to IPv6 and the world is going through this transformation. We are shifting to IPv6 as Internet usage and connected devices are growing by the day, which means we need more IP addresses. It's time we move to IPv6, which has been in development for over a decade now. Most of us don’t even know what it exactly means, but there are a ton of myths. We’re here to demystify them and make things a little clearer for you.
What is this IPv4 and IPv6 business?
For those who don’t know what this whole IPv4 - IPv6 mumbo jumbo is, they are protocols or standards for networking. Every device that’s connected to the Internet is assigned an IP address. Unfortunately, there are a set number of IPs that a particular standard supports. In the case of IPv4, there are some four billion IP addresses, but then, there are just so many of us and we have so many devices, including smartphones, notebooks, tablets, PCs, smart TVs and so on that eventually we're going to run out of IP addresses. IPv6 is now a new networking protocol that allows some 340 trillion trillion trillion IP addresses, which can be assigned to devices. That’s enough for a really, really long time to come. As for IPv4, we’re almost running out of IP addresses and we won’t have enough till the end of this year. Let’s move on to the myths that companies and people are spreading and see what the truth really is.
We will be out of IPv4 addresses soon...
Myth: IPv4 is fine, no need for IPv6
Truth: With the increasing number of mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets being connected to the Internet, IPv4 has almost exhausted its IP addresses. There will be a point soon when there won't be any IP address to assign. So, we have to shift to IPv6 for further IP addresses. IPv4 had its limitations due to 32-bit address, but IPv6 uses 128-bit addresses and allows 2^128 addressess, compared to 2^32 by IPv4.
Myth: IPv6 sites can't be accessed from IPv4
Truth: The move from IPv4 to IPv6 is slow and it’s something that won’t take place overnight. This is a move that’s likely going to take years. Some services on the web switched over to IPv6 on the World IPv6 day, on the 6th of June 2012. These sites made up for a minute fraction of the entire landscape called Internet. All these sites will continue to operate on both, IPv4 and IPv6 protocols. Most of the hardware being used for IT and Internet infrastructure support some kind of tunneling facilities that let IPv4 pass over to IPv6, so there’s absolutely no chance of not being able to access IPv6 sites.
Myth: IPv6 means faster Internet
Truth: As much as we’d like the Internet to be faster, IPv6 isn’t going to change the way the Internet works. All of the information on the web is connected using the same hardware, with the same cables and with the same kind of servers, so you’re not going to see any kind of speed boost with IPv6.
For all practical reasons, the only change you’ll find is with the IP address. An IPv4 address used four sets of numbers, but in the case of IPv6, you’ll have six sets of numbers. Almost all of the time, you won’t even have to bother setting these IP addresses yourself - it’s done automatically, everytime you start your PC or connect to the Internet.
Myth: The Internet will be different with IPv6
Truth: Some people are under the impression that the internet is going to change and it’s a whole new Internet, but it’s not. All the sites will remain as they are, in the same form. You won’t need to change hardware or switch to a different web browser to access IPv6 sites.
Myth: IPv6 hardware is expensive, everyone has to upgrade now
Truth: IPv6 might be going into service now, that too slowly and in phases, but the fact remains that it has been an impending change. IPv6 as a technology was tried and tested back in the late 90s. Since then, there have been several hardware and software development cycles that have ensured that IPv6 is integrated into them. For example, IPv6 support has been added to Windows XP’s service pack. You only need to be concerned, if you’re using Windows 2000, Windows 98 or anything older and if you absolutely need to be on IPv6.
The Internet won't be different...
So, basically you don't need to worry or hurry with the IPv6 shift, yet. You won't notice any visible impact, whatsoever and most of the changes would be made on your ISP end.