Monday, 4 June 2012

It's time to upgrade to IPv6 - Internet Giants


About IP addresses:
Internet Protocol Version 6 is the 6th revised edition of the Internet Protocol (IP). IP is defined as the method by which information is sent between any two computers on the internet. The internet is made up of lots of IPs.

IPs come into place whenever you do anything on the internet, visit any website or do any action. It tells the packets of data or information where they are supposed to go, just like the delivery address of some object. When you visit a website, you send a command requested data from a particular server through an IP address. Google.com, Facebook.com, etc. are all domain names, these domain names get resolved into an IP address eg. (1234.1234.1234.1234) through a Domain Name Server (DNS). These IP addresses tell the location of the destination to the packets that in this case is Google.com or Facebook.com's servers. Then they return the information requested through the same method to the client.



Since the internet consists of so many of these IP addresses, there are versions of protocols eg. v1, v2, v3, v4, v5 and now v6 which decide what these IPs will be made of. IPv4 has been widely used till now.

The reason behind making new versions of IP Protocols is due to the exhaustion of available IP addresses. The IPv4 protocol can have about 2 to the 32nd power or about 4,29,49,67,296 unique IP addresses. But now these addresses are going to be all used up soon. So IPv6 had been introduced and soon it will be put into use. IPv6 protocol can support about 34,02,82,36,69,20,93,84,63,46,33,74,60,74,31,76,82,11,456 unique addresses which is enough to last for centuries! IPv6 and IPv5 have the following structures:


The Federal Communications Commission shows the relative size of the IPv6 address space enabled by the longer Internet addresses.

(Credit: FCC)

About World IPv6 Launch Day:
Arbor Networks, a company that monitors global Internet traffic says,
"IPv6 is being enabled and kept on by more than 1,500 Web sites and ISPs in 22 countries."
On June 6, 2012 is the World IPv6 Launch Day. Major ISPs, home networking equipment manufacturers, and web companies around the world are coming together to permanently enable IPv6 for their products and services by 6 June 2012. 

Many organizations on the Internet have banded together for Wednesday's World IPv6 Launch event overseen by a standards and advocacy group called the Internet Society.

Importance of World IPv6 Launch Day:

  1. Some ISPs will turn on IPv6 and leave it on so at least 1 percent of their customers will have IPv6 access. Those ISPs include AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Free Telecom, Internode, KDDI, and XS4ALL.
  2. Home network device makers Cisco and D-Link will enable IPv6 by default for their home network devices. Cisco makes the Netgear line of home routers.
  3. Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Yahoo will enable IPv6 access to their main Web sites and keep it available. Yahoo also committed to offer Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Mail, and Yahoo Finance over IPv6 in coming months. Several services already are available over IPv6 today, but people must go to a specific and different Web address such as ipv6.google.com. Now just going to google.com will return results over IPv6 if it's possible for the person doing the search to communicate with IPv6.
(Sources: CNET, World IPv6 Launch)