This is my first blog in 2016, I have been on holiday mode as I have been on one the longest annual leave in my life. Hope you understand the family commitment when you and your kids are on summer holiday (here in Sydney, Dec/Jan/Feb is blazing summer).
IPv6, the history and does it really matter to you or anyone?
The simple answer is YES, then why? The single biggest driver behind the development and introduction of IPv6 is a long prediction of lack of usable IPv4 IP addresses since the explosion of World Wide Web (www) in 1995. The www development goes back to 1991 and then the introduction of grandfather web browser, Mosaic was first introduced in 1993. By year 1995, one third of IPv4 addresses were consumed, by year 2000, half of all IPv4 addresses were use.
As reviewed in previous notes, IPv4 consists of 32 bit address structure and theoretically that should give us 2 to the power of 32 IP addresses, that is 4294967296 IP addresses or roughly, 4.3 billion IP addresses . But not all IP addresses are usable such as the reserved IP addresses for private network use as well as the Class E addresses reserved for development and testing purposes. In other words, only around 2.5 billion IP addresses are true usable addresses. If you just check out our world’s population today ( http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/, China = 1.407 billion and India = 1.2912 billion people,), just looking at top two countries’ population figures, you can feel the IPv4 address shortage on your skin. The trend is that the world’s network has been doubling in size every year for the past 15 years. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPv4_address_exhaustion)
With the advancement of new technologies comes the rapid deletion of available IPv4 IP addresses. Anything that’s related to mobile communications and entertainment as well as all other areas seems to be needing more and more IP addresses for everyday use. In the past, it was expected that all the IPv4 addresses would be depleted by 2011 but it is 2016 and we are still using IPv4 address without much thought, all thanks to the counter measures put into place to slow down the IPv4 IP address deletion. e.g.) The fine art of sub-netting, a practical use of DHCP and IP Natting.
Quick note on history of IPv6:
1990 – IETF had predicted that all class B IPv4 IP addresses will be deleted by 1994
1991 Nov – IETF formed ROAD (ROuting and ADress) Group in Santa Fe, US.
1995 – IPNG (IP Next Generation) Workgroup had written and submitted ‘RFC 1883’, this RFC has become the foundation of current IPv6.
1996 – 6Bone was introduced. 6Bone was a test-bed for IPv6 vulnerabilities connecting 57 countries across 1100 sites.
1999 – IPv6 Forum was launched to standardize the use of IPv6
2006 Jul 06 – 6Bone was decommissioned after 10 years of testing.
Current – Majority of IP products are manufactured with IPv6 capabilities and compatibility. IPv6 is slowly phasing out IPv4 around the world.
Quick note on 10 Advantages (Characteristics) of IPv6:
1. Larger IP address space than IPv4, 32 bits based IPv4 vs 128 bits based IPv6
2. Better end-to-end connectivity than IPv4
– peer-to-peer application connections such as games, video conferencing, file sharing and VoIP
– No need to use NAT as the shortage of addresses is thing of IPv4
3. Plug-n-Play feature of IPv6
– plug-and-play auto-configuration, e.g.) DHCPv6
4. Simplified Header structures leading to faster routing
5. Better security features
– use of IPSec (a built-in feature)
6. Improved QoS features
7. Improved Multicast and Anycast abilities
8. Better mobility features
9. Ease of administration over IPv4
10. IPv6 follows the key design principles of IPv4
In the next section, we will look at some characteristics of IPv6 and then in the final section of IPv6, I will demonstrate IPv6 in a simple lab. Happy blogging, reading and all the best with your learning and career in 2016.