by David Byrd, Broadvox
According to Latif Ladid, president of the IPv6 Forum, IPv4 addresses managed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority were exhausted on February 3. There are no more blocks available for allocation. The IP community has known of this impending event for years and has developed a solution referred to as IPv6.
It is intended to resolve the issue of the world running out of IP addresses in 2011. IPv4 is based upon a 32-bit address scheme whereas v6 uses 128. The difference is dramatic. With v4 the Internet has a total capacity of 4 billion unique addresses. In 1980 when it was released this seemed like a big number, as the engineering groups involved did not foresee the eventual growth. IPv6 represents 3.4×1038 or 340 trillion, trillion, trillion addresses. I think that might last awhile. Other elements include improved security, simpler processing, mobility features and multicast.
The five regional registries around the world do have v4 address blocks remaining for assignment. However, those are expected to be depleted prior to the end of the year. Interest in participating in the June 8 Internet Society promoted 24-hour test drive of v6 is growing and many companies are expected to participate.
The transition will take decades. Therefore, for most service providers’ customers there will be no immediate impact, but the growing number of IP endpoints will affect ISPs, ITSPs and OEMs in short order. Consequently they must begin deploying v6-compatible network elements this year or risk being unable to support new IP devices.
More at broadvox.com.