The End of IPv4 As We Know It and the Onset of IPv6, this YouTube Video Sums It Up

IPv4 is a thing of the past as of this month. The IP address reserve for IPv4 dropped to 5% in October last year and the sudden increase in the number of mobile devices and the increasing awareness towards using the Internet has exponentially increased the number of connected computers all over the world. The result- an IP adddress fiasco.

The only savior in this situation is IPv6 and we all are turning to it. Google has decided to try out IPv6 with Facebook, Akamai and other major players on the Internet. The transition from IPv4 to IPv6 is a tedious job. The existing routers do not have all capabilities for this and now that it is more of a compulsion than an option, any further network changes will incur a huge cost for organizations.

Even more worrying, is the fact that current implementations of IPv6, which amount to less than 1% of the total Internet hosts is quite imperfect. On the 8th of June, Google, Facebook and Akamai will generate some interesting statistics on the usage of IPv6 that will lay the foundation for usage of this new protocol.

This YouTube video will sum up everything that led to this fiasco and has done it in style. You can also check these reactions from Geekosystem(Internet to Reach Critical Mass Within Weeks ) and Network World(Farewell IPv4; We Hardly Knew Ye ).

Unallocated IPv4 Reserves Drop Below 5%

Techie Buzz readers are probably already aware that we are running out of IPv4 (Internet Protocol version 4) addresses. An IP address is essential for uniquely identifying devices connected to the internet. The trouble is that the currently prevalent protocol (IPv4) only supports up to 232 addresses, which was thought to be enough back in the day. With the number of devices connected to the internet rapidly increasing, we are quickly nearing the exhaustion of the address pool.

A newer version of the protocol – IPv6, solves this problem, while introducing other significant benefits. IPv6 supports 2128 (about 3.4×1038) addresses. Unfortunately, IPv6 protocol requires new hardware or updates to legacy hardware. However, users on IPv6 networks will still be able to access content on IPv4 networks. In spite of the repeated efforts, the adaption rate of IPv6 has been slow due to the financial investments required and general consumer apathy.

The Number Resource Organization (NRO) has announced that less than 5% of the addresses now remain unallocated. The good news is that IPv6 adoption increased this year by 70% compared to just 8% for IPv4. This indicates that IPv6 adoption is gaining momentum. On its part, the Indian government requires all telecom and ISPs are required to be IPv6-compliant by the end of next year, and wants to start using IPv6 by March, 2012. However, unless the ISPs get their act together, even this might turn out to be too little too late.

India To See IPv6 By 2012

Like many other countries in the world, India too is running out of IP addresses on IPv4. This problem of IP address crunch is likely to get more fierce with the upcoming rollout of 3G and broadband wireless access (BWA) services in the country.Well, we as Internet users need not worry at all. According to a new roadmap released by the Indian government, India will start using IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6) – a technology that offers more IP address space than what IPv4 provides currently,   from March 2012.

All telecom and ISPs are required to be IPv6-compliant by the end of next year and offer IPv6 services thereafter, the government said in a statement issued on Wednesday by the country’s Press Information Bureau. The switching process will start with Federal and state government ministries and departments and public sector companies who will adopt these new IPv6 services by March 2012.

[Source, Image credit]

Are You Ready For IPv6? IPv4 is Nearing Exhaustion

The IETF is holding its 77th meeting this week at  Anaheim, California. The last meeting saw a huge turnout and the IEFT grabbed this opportunity to promote the new IP protocol, the IPv6.

The IETF as described by Wikipedia is,

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) develops and promotes Internet standards, cooperating closely with the W3C and ISO/IEC standards bodies and dealing in particular with standards of the TCP/IP and Internet protocol suite. It is an open standards organization, with no formal membership or membership requirements.

This Tuesday, researches have shown that even in small numbers, Internet users are already adapting to the 1995 technology. Geoff Huston of APNIC has recently announced from traffic data in the Asia Pacific that at least 1% of the Internet is using IPv6. Though not much, this is surely a good start. APNIC is the Regional Internet Registry for the Asia Pacific region.

The data provided by Huston is significantly important. It has revealed interesting facts like:

  • If IPv6 is implemented, it will not affect the ISPs. Current IPv4 requires them to send a data in multiple parts of small size and IPv6 requires them to send one huge data at a time. The effective change is minimal.
  • Around 6% of all networks have IPv6 enabled routers and at the current growth rates, this number will increase to 80%.

Comcast had once announced an IPv6 trial and more than 5000 people even changed their ISPs to be able to avail this offer. This shows that people are enthusiastic about IPv6. It is the existing network infrastructure which is reluctant to make this change.

As Iljitsch van Beijnum from ArsTechnica says,

Don’t forget: we’ve used 3,026 million IPv4 addresses and have just 680 million to go, with 203 million used up in 2009. Time is running out.