Never let it be said “The Inquirer” doesn’t know how to grab attention: “The Internet is doomed until European businesses and organizations begin to move towards IPv6.”
That’s their quote from Neelie Kroes, vice president of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda. Rather nicely frames the importance of the issue, doesn’t it?
At the recently German IPv6 summit, in addition to that dire pronouncement, Kroes also said Europeans are “starting to see close ahead of us the consequences if we don't make the switch to IPv6.”
Indeed, but they’ve probably been overshadowed just a tad by the consequences of the euro disintegrating. There is a hierarchy of catastrophic events after all.
But the Internet running out of space, yes, that’s a problem. "More people online; more ways of getting online; more applications and devices online. All these developments put greater demands on our networks, and require ever higher performance from them," Kroes said, bringing attention back to the point: “The Internet cannot adjust to these developments, cannot continue to grow and function properly, without sufficient IP addresses."
IPv6 would, in fact, allow for many, many new locations on the World Wide Web than IPv4 addresses currently do. It’s not that anybody running around loose on the streets disputes this, as she notes the EC has backed the protocol since 2002, but adoption has been slow.
How much of a difference will it make? The Inquirer runs the numbers: “Moving on to IPv6 will extend address space from the 4 billion addresses we have now to over 300 trillion trillion trillion,” Kroes says, comparing it to the number of grains of sand on a beach.
Yeah, that’d give us the lebensraum we need for a few more years.
One company that stands ready to help companies prepare for IPv6 is Coyote Point Systems (News - Alert), a provider of load balancer technology. Recently Bill Kish, alpha coyote for the company, wrote a company blog post on why companies should transition to IPv6.
He starts out with a good, clear explanation of the situation. The pool of unallocated IPv4 addresses will be exhausted sometime before the end of the year, and the anticipation of this has led to several new technologies, including IPv6, which according to Kish was developed in 1998.
Will IPv6 be able to handle the load for a while? Considering how the Internet-to-Internet Protocol Version 6 under discussion can support 3.4x1038 addresses, we’ll give it a qualified “yes.”
To read more about Kish’s thoughts, click here. David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.
Edited by Carrie Schmelkin