The Internet works on a ubiquitous system of Internet Protocol Addresses, wherein every device, real or virtual, has a particular number assigned to it. Each IP address, defined as a numerical label assigned to each device participating in a network, had two functions: it is a unique name, so we can identify one from the other, and it is also an address, so we can locate where it is from. Once identified, the route is established as a way to reach the unique address.
Since its inception in September 1981 by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), the present IP system, known as IPv4, a 32-bit binary code address system, has assigned most of its total possible IP addresses, which is 232 (2 to power of 32). During the creation of IPv4, no one could predict such astronomical-scale proliferation of internet, that we could exhaust all possible IDs so quickly.
When the world realized that we could actually run out of all possible IP addresses, a new version of IP called IPv6, which uses 128 bits, was developed, which would have a possible 2128 (2 to power of 128) number of options or approximately 3.403×1038 unique IP addresses. Globally, companies and institutions are moving from V4 to V6 format of IP configuration system.
The global transition from IPv4 to IPv6 creates several possibilities as well as challenges for various stakeholders of Internet industry and its consumers, essentially everybody, but in particular, it opens up a chest treasure for the Broadband Industry.
The key benefits of this transition to IPv6 would be:
- Inexhaustible number of IP options
- Improved Multi-casting
- Network-layer security, maximum protection
- Simplified router processing
- Higher privacy
- Greater capacity for Jumbo Grams (transfer of mega sized data packets)
- Greater mobility
- Stateless Address Auto Configuration (SLAAC)
- Extensibility of options
The markets are gearing for this transition to IPv6. Increasingly larger number of software deployment is happening on IPv6 platforms. Applications are being built with IPv6 network capabilities and more hardware devices and embedded applications come ready for IPv6 functioning.
Broadband players hardly need to be educated on the need to make their offerings for users more secure, more private, or be the latest in technology. They further know the value of their services being friendlier to mobile applications, have greater speeds and empower their customers with more applications and possibilities.
Multi-casting and broadcasting options mean more media and entertainment, greater interactivity and better speeds and larger data transfers. The consequences are too many, and wonderful. The biggest value-addition and competitive edge today’s broadband players can give themselves is a well-planned and diligently executed transition to IPv6.
SURE! (a Magnaquest product) has been leading in helping Broadband players move to IPv6 and providing a posse of solutions to meet their current and long-term requirements, including:
- DHCP Server with the ability to manage IPv4 & v6 Addresses
- Radius Server, Ready to address the server needs
- Dual Stack mode Support for IPv6 & IPv4 capability
- Data Packet Tunneling Ability for IPv6 Support
In subsequent articles, we will discuss the issue of how to optimally handle the transition, optimize the opportunities at each step and enjoy greater returns on investment on the path to V6. Six is the new Four; and we can herald the best experience in this move.
Anil Thota is a consultant with SURE! (a Magnaquest product). SURE! is an internationally acclaimed player in comprehensive end-to-end Subscription Business Solutions for PayTV, Broadband and Cloud Computing businesses – through deployment of Metered Billing, CRM, Service Fulfillment, Value-Added Services, and Managed Services.