TeraGo Networks Presents IPv6: Part 2

In our previous video, we discussed the exhaustion of the current Internet Protocol, IPv4, and how we have arrived at our current state. Part 2 of our informations video series, Jose Robles – Network Technology Specialist, will discuss the differences between IPv4 and IPv6 as well as the benefits that IPv6 offers.

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To discover how TeraGo Networks can help your business, click here.

Blog posted by Vanessa Hartung

TeraGo Networks Presents IPv6: Part 1

As discussed in our previous blogs, the supply of IPv4 addresses has been exhausted and no longer has enough IP addresses to support the growing number of internet users. IPv6 is the latest version of Internet Protocol being used to direct Internet traffic. However, before we can examine IPv6, we need to take a look back at IPv4 in order to understand how we have arrived at our current situation. Below is an informational video which explains IPv4 and discusses the need for IPv6 – hosted by Jose Robles, Network Technology Specialist for TeraGo Networks.

To learn more about how TeraGo Networks can help grow your business, click here.

Blog posted by Vanessa Hartung

IPv6 Implementation

In previous blog posts, we have described what IPv6 is, the benefits it offers, as well as the reasons why businesses need to adopt it. In this post, I will describe how your company can prepare itself for the implementation of IPv6. Many companies may now be aware of IPv6, but are unsure of how to make the transition. Basically, there are two options for your company to consider; deployment of a fully enabled IPv6 only network or run IPv6 alongside IPv4.

However, not many companies are running with an IPv6 only network since IPv4 still has a strong presence. Also, several devices and applications may never be able to transition to IPv6, so running both protocols may be unavoidable. There are three ways in which IPv4 and IPv6 can run alongside each other; tunneling, translation and dual-stack.

Tunneling encapsulates IPv6 packets within IPv4, in effect using IPv4 as a link layer for IPv6. However, tunneling does not enable users of the new protocol to communicate with users of the old protocol without dual-stack hosts, which negates interoperability. Translation facilitates communication between IPv6-only and IPv4-only hosts and networks by performing IP header and address translation between the two address families. Although, it is important to note that translation is only meant to be a medium-term coexisting strategy, not a long-term permanent solution.

A majority of providers and vendors have chosen to take the dual-stack route. Dual-stack is a transition technology in which IPv4 and IPv6 operate in tandem over shared or dedicated links. In this type of network, both IPv4 and IPv6 are fully deployed across the infrastructure, so that configuration and routing protocols handle both IPv4 and IPv6 addressing and adjacencies.

Since IPv4 has such a strong presence, and so many users are currently utilizing IPv4, adopting dual-stack technology will allow users to access IPv4 and IPv6 enabled sites. Just because IPv4 has been exhausted, that doesn’t mean that it will disappear entirely. The transition from IPv4 to IPv6 will be gradual, but users need to be able to access both in order to experience full connectivity.

By fully deploying both IPv4 and IPv6 through dual-stack, users will have a seemingly full range of access to both IPv4 and IPv6 enables sites, applications, and devices. Once all regions across the globe have run out of IPv4 addresses, there will be no choice but to distribute IPv6 addresses. As more and more IPv6 addresses are distributed to users around the world, the migration to this new protocol will build up steam.

The first step in preparing for this worldwide change is to decide which type of communication technology your company will utilize. Whether it’s translation, tunneling, or dual-stack, a choice must be made soon in order to ensure that your business is able to seamlessly connect online.

To learn how TeraGo Networks can help your business, click here.

Author: Vanessa Hartung

The End of IPv4 is Near

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but on September 14, 2012, it was announced that RIPE NCC (Réseaux IP Européens Network Coordination Centre) was down to its last group of IPv4 addresses. It is now no longer possible to obtain new IPv4 addresses in Europe, the former USSR, or the Middle East. However, members of RIPE and those who are part of the Local Internet Registry will be given a final group of 1,024 IPv4. All other businesses and ISPs will be forced to make the transition to IPv6.

As you may recall, RIPE NCC isn’t the first one to run out of IPv4 addresses. APNIC, which distributes IP addresses in the Asia-Pacific region, exhausted their supply of IPv4 addresses back in May 2011. There are now strict rules in place around the distribution of the remaining IPv4 addresses in an effort to slow down their extinction. Many ISPs and businesses are not able to obtain additional IPv4 addresses without providing proof that they are preparing to make the switch to IPv6.

In response to the decline of available IPv4 addresses, a secondary market has developed. Companies have started to buy and sell unused IPv4 addresses, which first began when Microsoft Corp. purchased over 600,000 IPv4 addresses from Nortel during their bankruptcy proceedings. With an estimated 1.2 billion IPv4 addresses that are currently allocated and unused, there is the potential for a huge resale market to emerge. However, resellers of IPv4 addresses are likely to charge a premium price as the demand increases.

However, purchasing unused IPv4 addresses will only delay the inevitable. Eventually, as the supply from both resellers and legitimate distributers runs out, IPv6 will be the only solution. Economically, it is better to invest in the adoption of IPv6 instead of purchasing more IPv4. Soon, IPv4 will no longer be the primary IP address in use and switching to IPv6 will be the only option.

Investing in IPv6 is, in turn, investing in your business. In order to sustain growth, companies need to spend the time and money on upgrading their Internet connection. Since the Internet has become so critical to the overall success of a business, starting the transition to IPv6 is a highly beneficial investment. Companies and ISPs will need to make the change soon regardless, so taking the initiative and adopting IPv6 before it’s too late is good business practice.

To learn more about how TeraGo Networks can help grow your business, click here.

Author: Vanessa Hartung

 

 

 

The IPv4 Well has Run Dry

It’s no secret that the number of available IPv4 addresses has been exhausted. It has been common knowledge for quite some time among industry professionals that the end was near. However, before we can begin to look forward, it is important to examine how we found ourselves in this current predicament.

Most of us are familiar with IP addresses, but for those of you who aren’t: and IP address can be compared to the address of a home. It’s a unique number that every device is assigned so that it can communicate with other devices on the Internet or private network. There are two major components to an IP address; the network portion, which is comparable to the street name where the house is located, and a host identifier for each person on the network, which is similar to a house number.

IP addressing is a protocol that has gone through multiple revisions. Currently, a majority of Internet users are operating on IP version four, or IPv4. This version has been in use since the early 1980s and has now been exhausted by the explosive rate of people and new devices connecting to the Internet.

In an attempt to delay the extinction of IPv4, Network Address Translating (NAT) was introduced. NAT is the process where a public IP address is assigned to a device, or group of devices, inside a private network. Referring back to our house example; a NAT will assign everyone on your street with the same IP address instead of assigning one to each individual house. However, this only slowed down the inevitable depletion of IPv4 addresses.

The solution to this problem is the implementation of IPv6, which is the latest IP addressing protocol. IPv6 provides a vast number of IP addresses which will last well into the future. However, the transition from IPv4 to IPv6 has been tedious. Although IPv6 has been available since the 1990s, not many ISPs or companies have implemented it. Now that the transition to IPv6 can no longer be avoided, many are rushing to make the switch. However, the likely consequence will be that IPv4 and IPv6 will co-exist until IPv6 becomes standard.

If your company hasn’t done so yet, now would be the time to prepare for the transition to IPv6. Whether your business hosts their website or uses an outside ISP or Web-hosting service, it is important to find out what the plan is to implement IPv6.

 

To learn more about how TeraGo Networks can help your business, click here.

TeraGo Networks Presents: What is IPv6?

Many industry professionals and organizations have been buzzing about the launch of IPv6, but those who are outside of the technical community are left scratching their heads. Businesses use the internet on a daily basis, but not many are aware that there is a major change on the horizon. Since most of the ground work for IPv6 has been conducted behind the scenes, everyday users do not have a concrete understanding of what IPv6 is and how it will impact them.

What is IPv6?

An Internet Protocol address, or IP address, is a number that identifies each sender or receiver of information sent over the internet. IPv6 (Internet Protocol Version 6) is the latest protocol being used to direct internet traffic. The current version, IPv4, has reached exhaustion and the remaining blocks do not have enough IP addresses to support the growing number of internet users. IPv6 is capable of providing 340 trillion trillion trillion IP addresses, while IPv4 was only able to supply 4 billion IP addresses to internet users. With the expansion of the total amount of IP spaces available, IPv6 is contributing to the continued growth of the internet by allowing many more devices and users on the Internet.

Why Make the Switch?

For many, the transition to IPv6 began last year when the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) divided the last remaining blocks of IPv4 addresses amongst the individual Regional Internet Registries (RIR) in February. Currently, there are no longer any IPv4 addresses in the Asia-Pacific region, and industry observers have predicted that Europe will run out this year, North America will run out next year and Africa and Latin America will run out of IPv4 addresses by 2016.

Most modern operating systems, such as Apple’s Mac OS X, newer versions of Microsoft Windows, and major Linux distributions, have been prepared for the transition to IPv6 for several years. However, users who do not have access to more modern operating systems will be required to install software updates that will allow them to communicate with both versions until IPv4 becomes extinct. But, there will be some hardware out there that will never be able to have any kind of IPv6 connectivity and such legacy equipment will eventually be retired.

By implementing the tools necessary to access IPv6 enabled sites, users will be able to browse the internet without any limitations. Initiating the transition early can ensure that there is no loss in connectivity as IPv6 sites become the primary version in use. The switch from IPv4 to IPv6 is inevitable as more users and devices connect to the internet and exhaust the limited number of IPv4 addresses that remain.

The foremost advantage to IPv6 is increased address space, boasting a 128-bit long IP address. This is a significant gain over the 32-bit length of IPv4 addresses, which allows for a virtually endless amount of unique IP address configurations. As businesses and users throughout the world continue to connect online, IPv6 will provide the space needed to accommodate the growth of the internet.

To learn more about TeraGo Networks, please click here.

IPocalypse- by Jose Robles

It’s been called the IPocalypse.  The catastrophic event where the world will run out of traditional IPv4 addresses once we exhaust all of the available unused blocks.  It’s a funny tongue in cheek term which is used to try and instill a sense of foreboding about the looming work and changes required to move onto the next version of the protocol known as IPv6.

So how did we get to this point where we feel that we’re scrambling to keep the internet alive?  To be clear, the internet is not going to shutdown on the day that IPv4 space runs out.  This is not like the Y2K scares from 10+ years ago even though it has been compared to that mess.  All will continue to route fine and things like Google, Twitter and Facebook will continue working.  In fact, it’s been discussed many times by experts that IPv4 and IPv6 will coexist for a great number of years.  Even decades!  But I get ahead of myself…

[Read more…]

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