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IPv6: The Time Has Come

IPv6’s time has come“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)

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Convince Your Boss to Participate in World IPv6 Day

At this point, the technical community should already understand that IPv4 addresses are gone and that IPv6 is the best way to keep the Internet growing. Although we have known for years that this day would arrive, the community doesn't always see the need to act. The common refrain is that there's no killer app and no return on investment. Well, the Internet itself is the killer app - if a business uses the Internet for any reason at all today then that business needs deal with the fact that the public Internet will deploy IPv6 and react accordingly.  That encompasses a pretty broad set of scenarios - hosted services, online banking, student registration, government services, telecommuter access, remote site connections, backup network connections, partner sites, on-line advertising, retail, social media ... the list goes on. 

Clients have started to demand IPv6 accessible services.  The U.S. Government is demanding IPv6 compliance as a condition in its procurements and organizations like ARIN will require IPv6 accessibility of vendor as a condition on their external contractors.  In the rapidly growing mobile telephony space, providers are looking to roll out native IPv6 service in order to reduce the network complexity and the reliance on Network Address Translation services.  Enterprises that provide native IPv6 connectivity will have an advantage in this space.

You may already have some ideas or plans to roll out or test IPv6, or may have spent some time testing in the lab. But how can you really see if your enterprise is ready to provide IPv6 services?

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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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