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For IPv4 the Sunset Begins. For IPv6 the Day Is Just Getting Started

That was quick! I mentioned earlier in the week that, in any day, the IANA would hand out the last IPv4 address. Today it happened. And coinciding with the X-day, our panel discussed the true impact of the IPv4 address run-out. To mitigate it, Cisco’s Carrier-Grade IPv6 (CGv6) solution is designed to help enable a smooth transition.

Cisco Carrier Grade IPv6 (CGv6) Solution

One interesting observation I’ve seen is how something as obtuse and techie as IPv6  has generated so much interest in the main stream press - such as this article at the Wall Street Journal, Web Running Out of Addresses.  Even my mother asked me about it on the phone last night “will the internets shut down?” No way mom…we’ve got that covered. The Internet will be Preserved, Prepared, and then Prosper!

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IPv6 – What’s New

IPv6 is becoming more widely deployed as the availability of IPv4 addresses continue to decline. In June, Cisco will be participating in World IPv6 Day, a 24-hour global “test drive” of IPv6 that is organized by the Internet Society.

Hopefully this introductory post will give you a basic idea of how IPv6 works and some initial security concerns. In upcoming posts, I will explain in more detail the security impact on your network of various aspects of IPv6. I am willing to address other topics as well if there is interest, just let me know. Currently the upcoming topics will be:

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IANA IPv4 Address Depletion: Change is the Only Constant

I thought my children would never fully understand what a life changing experience the Internet has had on our society. They do not know life without it. However, with the imminent depletion of IPv4 address space, this possibility could still exist. When they are ready to subscribe to broadband on their own, will the Internet be ready for them to connect?

The Internet will soon be going through large-scale transition. The current Internet Protocol address scheme known as IPv4 is near depletion, with the “free” address pool held by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) due to allocate the final IPv4 address any day now. According to Geoff Huston, APNIC Scientist, the IANA will run out of addresses in February. And the first date for a regional Internet registry to exhaust its addresses is October 2011 given current utilization rates. Once the Regional Internet Registry (RIR) free pool is exhausted, the Internet will need to evolve because no more IPv4 address space will be available from the RIRs. Without a solution, Service Providers (SPs) will not be able to seamlessly connect the massive growth of new revenue opportunities from smart phones, tablets, machine-to-machine applications, and sensor networks.

In an ideal world, everyone would just switch over to the next generation of Internet protocol, IPv6.  The IPv4 address shortage could be avoided, innovation and progress would continue, and the global economy would go on uninterrupted. IPv6 offers plenty of address space for every conceivable application.

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World IPv6 Day: Working Together Towards a New Internet Protocol

We’re pleased to announce that Cisco is joining The Internet Society for World IPv6 Day, a 24-hour global “test drive” of IPv6 on June 8, 2011.

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 »

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Flexibility Does Not Equal Complexity

Recently, SearchNetworking posted an interesting article titled “NetFlow v9 is powerful, so why isn’t anyone using it?” Shamus discusses many of the benefits of NetFlow v9:  deeper visibility into application traffic flows and application performance, and the ability to use NetFlow to consolidate and enhance other network management functions.  However, he ends on a sour note:  “but the technology is more complex to learn than the good old reliable v5.  Still enterprises will eventually be forced to make the transition.”

In his article, Shamus points out that customers may feel intimidated by the complexity of NetFlow v9.  I’d like to address this concern with a response.   If you are of my generation, you will no doubt remember carbureted automobile engines.

Maybe you or your dad spent Saturday afternoons tinkering with one in the garage, or maybe you were just caught off-guard when one morning the car wouldn’t start.  Netflow v5 is a lot like a carbureted engine:  it is very common, anyone familiar with it knows how it works, and it is easy to set-up.  Now, let’s fast-forward to the current generation of technology.

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