I bet many of you were not aware of a very important date coming up very soon that could impact how you connect to the Internet or more importantly, how your service provider will connect you to the Internet and no we are not talking about the Son of Y2K. What I’m referring to is the World IPv6 Day, which is right around the corner on June 6th which is the day that nearly all of the largest ISP’s and Service Providers will be enabling IPv6 which has a vastly larger amount of IP address unlike it’s predecessor, IPv4.
IPv6 provides a much larger pool of IP addresses however IPv6 is not backwards compatible with IPv4. The much larger IPv6 numbering system is meant to one day completely replace IPv4, but this will take many years. In the meantime, much of the Internet will run IPv4 and IPv6 simultaneously. This is necessary to ensure all users, regardless of the protocol version they are using, will be able to interact with all content on the Internet.
The SFTA (http://southfloridatechalliance.org) had the honor of having the CEO of ARIN (which allocates IPv4 and IPv6 address space for ISP’s and network operators), John Curran, present to our audience the latest information on IPv6, which was held at Peak 10’s grand opening of its expanded data center in Ft. Lauderdale. John was able to simplify the rather complicated scenario’s of how the Internet started over 30 years ago with the thought that the current IPv4 allocation of over 4 billion IP addresses would never run out and how in just a few short years we have nearly run out of addresses as we speak. No one in their right mind would have predicted how the growth of Internet was seeded by the mere fact that with 7 billion people on the planet and most of them having at least 1 mobile phone along with laptops, tablets , VoIP lines at their office and their homes using SIP Trunking, M2M or Embedded Telemetry devices that all need IP addresses to operate and you get the idea, we simply depleted our vast supply. John also did mention that with IPv6 that we should be able to accommodate the growth for at least the next 100 years, give or take a decade or two as IPv6 addresses have about 40 characters which are Hexadecimal, so they will go a long time before we (hopefully) go through this exercise again.
What does this mean to you? Again the skies will not be falling down nor will the threat of a Y2K shutdown occur on June 6th but what you need to do is ask your Service Providers what their plans are for IPv6 and how they will implement them. Understand that both IPv6 and IPv4 will continue to run concurrently for the next several years but dangers lurk if everyone is not on the same page to ensure your web and mail servers are able to communicate with all users, regardless of the protocol version they are using, you must make them available over both IPv4 and IPv6.
I’m attaching a couple of documents from ARIN.Net that explain further the implications of IPv6 and would highly suggest that you go to their site at http://www.arin.net to learn more about IPv6 and how World IPv6 Day “may” impact you.
Once again on behalf of the SFTA we would like to thank John Curran from ARIN for providing us with a very critical and informative presentation that enlightened most of us (including myself) on where we need to get started. Please visit us at http://southfloridatech.org for additional details on upcoming events. Pictures from last week’s event are below for your viewing pleasure.