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.
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 »
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.
Over the last few months, we have had a growing number of discussions around IPv6. What I have found fascinating is the number of varying reasons for the increasing momentum around this topic.
Address exhaustion has long been the most hyped reason for moving to IPv6. While the number of IPv4 addresses is diminishing rapidly, our conversations suggest that there are additional reasons for this momentum. These include:
- government mandates which we have seen in a number of countries, including the US.
- increasing numbers of Smart+Connected Communities
- the continuing explosive growth of mobile devices
- issues around content delivery, particularly in parts of the world that are leapfrogging and heading straight to v6 due to lack of sufficient v4 addresses (for example, China and India).
Today, Cisco announced that it leads in total USGv6 certification for routers, switches and firewalls. In addition, Cisco is the first vendor to be certified by the IPv6 Forum to offer IPv6 education and certification. Building on this momentum, Cisco is introducing new ASR-1000 features to help customers with IPv6 migration. This is in addition to providing use cases and professional services developed to help customers make a smooth transition.
In our conversations, a lack of guidelines/use cases and professional services were cited as being gating factors to increased adoption of IPv6. With today’s announcement, Cisco is building on its leadership in this area to help our customers by addressing this gap.
I welcome your feedback on this topic.
For more information on today’s announcement, please click here.
Cisco EVP and chief globalisation officer Wim Elfrink presented at the Web 2.0 Summit in the Palace Hotel in San Francisco today to discuss four of the major demographic and economic shifts that are underway on a global basis and to outline how Cisco’s vision of a new framework for urban sustainability will entail the creation of a whole new industry. You can watch the 15 minute replay of Wim’s presentation here (introduced by John Battelle of Federated Media).
Iain Thomson of V3.co.uk also met with Wim earlier and discussed the work we are engaged in with the London Olympic Park Legacy Company to create a liveable community that can be sustained beyond the Games themselves, and highly-connected new Smart+Connected Community projects in locations such as Songdo, Korea amongst others.
We’d love to hear your views of how you think the next 30 years of the Internet could develop with these shifts in mind and as the introduction of IPv6 underpins the transition to the ‘Internet of Things’.