IPv6 is coming—are you ready to make the transition?
The next generation of Internet networking protocol—IPv6—is coming and companies of all sizes are preparing their networks for it now. IPv6 makes room for more people, more companies, and more devices on the Internet than the current Internet protocol, IPv4. IPv6 provides better security, faster performance over virtual private networks (VPN), and makes local networks easier to manage. The new protocol also offers improved quality of service (QoS) for more reliable voice and video performance and ensures better coverage and throughput for mobile devices.
IPv6 has been top of mind lately, with World IPv6 Day on June 8th that provided a global-scale test flight of IPv6 technology for the purpose of testing and data collection. Cisco also recently announced that French service provider SFR is using our Carrier Grade v6 solution to offer IPv6 services to their residential customers, while still preserving their existing infrastructure investments.
Many people still have questions on the issues and options associated with making the evolution to IPv6. Below, in part one of a four part series, Cisco’s Kelly Ahuja, SVP Service Provider Chief Architecture Office and ACG Research’s Managing Partner Dr. Ray Mota discuss the changed landscape which network operators face that is driving the adoption of IPv6 technology. Ray does make an interesting comment about 2011 being the year of the tablets - and not just for consumer use, but also for business applications. Another point that Ray makes with which we agree is the need for network operators make a near term plan which extends or preserves the use of existing IPv4 assets, and a longer term plan which can migrate services to IPv6 - seamlessly - when needed.
Around the world, organisations have been gearing up for World IPv6 Day -- a widespread, global ‘test flight’ for IPv6.
Participants include technology providers like Cisco plus content providers and other industry players who will come together to enable IPv6 on their main websites for at least 24 hours.
Earlier this year IANA announced that they had allocated the last remaining IPv4 addresses. At the same time, with changing regulatory requirements, more global organisations are having to more to IPv6.
In the meantime, we have a plethora of new devices appearing and more people than ever getting connected to the Internet worldwide. For content providers, connecting to a global audience is a key factor driving the move towards IPv6.
So, what is Cisco doing to help customers? Our message to customers is very simple:
Preserve your current investment by auditing the existing system; then
Prepare by making a plan and starting a managed migration, even if only in one focused part of the network; this ensures one will
Prosper through the transition to a full IPv6-enabled Internet experience.
“IPv6’s time has come. For a long time considered a satisfactory but too costly technical solution to implement, IPv6 is now an issue that cannot be ignored.” Thus begins the preamble for the V6 World Congress Inaugural Event.
Conference Day One: On Tuesday, February 8th, Mark Townsley, of Cisco opened the meeting with the first keynote presentation: Business Case for IPv6 -- giving an overview of the state of the Internet and the Networking Industry. The central theme of the meeting was how “…as an industry we need to work together to create a network effect, in order to stimulate a virtuous cycle of IPv6 deployment amongst all the players in the industry.”
Erik Kline of Google spoke at the meeting along with distinguished guests. Google, Facebook, Comcast, Akamai and others highlighted what they were working on. Content providers such as YouTube also spoke about their involvement in IPv6. Alexandre Cassen from Free (Iliad Group) made an announcement that they already have more than 490,000 users on IPv6. Free Telecom’s new Freebox gives new subscribers IPv6 by default.
“Free is committed to providing the latest innovations for its customers, including full support today for the IP Next-Generation Network, IPv6. We have chosen the Cisco Series Aggregation Services Routers ASR 1000 router for their support of an integrated high-performance IPv6 Rapid Deployment or 6rd technology, which allows us to supply IPv6 to our users in a remarkably simple and cost-efficient manner.” Maxime Lombardini, chief executive officer, Free (Iliad Group, France)
For over 25 years, Cisco has been central to the development of the Internet Protocol (IP) that has helped fuel the incredible growth in global connectivity the world enjoys today. Very soon, the free pool of IPv4 addresses will finally run dry, and IPv6 is the only long-term solution the industry has available to continue growth in the manner that the world has come to expect.
Cisco has been involved in developing standards and products for IPv6 since its inception more than a decade ago. While we have helped a number of customers deploy IPv6 on networks large and small, stitching this together ubiquitously and seamlessly among not just the networks themselves but the software and applications running on top has been challenging.
On June 8, the industry is coming together to deploy and test IPv6 in what we believe will be an unprecedented manner in terms of participation and scale. On this day, major web companies, Internet Service Providers, enterprises, and equipment vendors will work together to “switch on” IPv6 for 24 hours. The switch that will be thrown is one within the global Domain Name System, or DNS, which translates a name such as http://www.cisco.com into an IP address. Today, while a number of large websites have IPv6 connectivity, in order to reach many of them over IPv6 the user must use a special DNS name. For example, even if you have an IPv6-enabled device connected to an IPv6-enabled network, you must type http://www.ipv6.cisco.com in your web browser in order to receive an IPv6 destination address to connect to. Read More »