In : News17 May 2011
With the exponential growth of the internet, IPv4 addresses are running out, which could restrict the deployment of fixed and mobile network infrastructures. IPv4 vs. IPv6: a few explanations.
Why the shortage of IP addresses?
Devised in the 80s, the IPv4 address attribution system (the label assigned to each device connected to the internet) applied to a very small number of users, equipment and applications.
In the mid-nineties, with the advent of the web, compounded by a significant rise in the number of servers, experts predicted a saturation of the network and the exhaustion of the 4.3 billion available addresses by 2008. The dot-com bubble burst in 2000 bought a few more months, but for the past year, the clock has been ticking.
In April 2010, the NRO (Number Resource Organisation), a coordinating body for the five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) that manage the distribution of resources, estimated the remaining IPv4 space at less than 8%, and since the beginning of 2011 there has been a tide panic-mongering.
So what caused this? Nothing in particular, except perhaps the boom in utilising the web’s infinite potential.
IPv6: the advantages?
Developed in the mid-nineties, the new version of the IP protocol which uses 128 bit addresses (instead of 32) was designed to resolve a number of the problems associated with IPv4 (source CNRS):
IPv6 can support network identification with the increase in IT infrastructure, mass use of mobile terminals, the arrival of communicating objects – both personal and professional – and the proliferation of associated IP communications.
IPv6: why now?
NAT (network address translation), implemented to address the IPv4 address exhaustion issue, will not be sufficient to deal with the shortage expected in 2011. A number of initiatives have already been taken to promote the deployment of IPv6:
Hitherto held back by the awkward cohabitation of the 2 IP protocol versions, security risks (some VPN software still only supports IPv4), and IT departments’ unfamiliarity with the new protocol (employees not trained), the migration has nevertheless, since the beginning of the year, become a pressing need, particularly for companies using large IP networks.
How will it affect hardware and user workstations?
Commercial network equipment is already IPv6-compatible.
Where workstations are concerned, IPv6 is available on all the standard operating systems: Windows Vista, Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris, OpenBSD, etc. It is the default protocol replacing IPv4, as on Windows Vista.
ECS Econocom Group has considerable network expertise, and a year ago joined the privileged circle of Silver Cisco partner.
Econocom has the requisite expertise to assist CIOs with IPv6 migration projects.
Find out more: Services IT Econocom
Econocom is currently a European provider of services for integrating and financing digital solutions. With its complementary areas of expertise (distribution , leasing , services and telecoms), Econocom assists businesses in transforming their IT systems and managing digital projects. Operating in 18 countries, Econocom Group employs 3,700 people and posted revenue of €1,538 million.
For further information : www.econocom.com