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IPv6 is here because of mobile requirements.


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IPv6 is here because of mobile requirements.

6 June 2012 | Growing Mobile Workforce ,Aging Infrastructure ,Wi-Fi

It's mobile devices that made the change to IPv6 so critical. There are simply so many of them. While four billion IPv4 addresses seems like a lot, it's not enough. The available IPv4 addresses have already been exhausted.

The mobile devices made it happen this quickly because every mobile device using a data connection, whether it's a phone, a tablet or a machine-to-machine device, needs an IP address. So does every laptop, every computer and printer. And this doesn't take into account devices like DVD players, refrigerators and Internet radios.

So beginning at midnight UTC on June 6, the launch happened. The major sites and network providers around the world began supporting IPv6. Permanently. You probably remember a year ago when the Internet Society sponsored IPv6 Day, in which major websites including Google and Facebook tried out IPv6-only sites. This time, the trials are over and the IPv6 sites and networks are here for good.

Fortunately, you'll probably not see any difference in how your phones or tablets function. If you're using a carrier that supports IPv6, such as T-Mobile, and you're using a device that supports IPv6, then you're likely to be using IPv6, but you'll have to know where to look in your device to find out. Popular devices like iPhones, iPads, and many Android phones support IPv6. Current BlackBerry smartphones and Windows Phone 7 devices don't support IPv6, although the BlackBerry PlayBook does.

To find out whether a device works with IPv6, go to the IPv6 test site. It will work with any device with a browser.

"The mobile carriers are ahead of other ISPs," said Craig Mathias, principal analyst at Farpoint Group. "It's been inevitable." Mathias said that while it's not critical for IT managers to rush into IPv6, it's important that it gets done. "Down the road it will eliminate problems that would otherwise have crept in," he said. "It's an investment. You should care whether the devices will do it."

"Mission critical infrastructure must be done carefully," Mathias said. He suggested making sure your WiFi equipment supports it, then he suggested three additional steps:

  • Take an inventory
  • Make sure the device's operating system will handle it
  • Do a couple of test cases

But with mobile devices, there are factors outside of your control that might play into your decision. A great deal depends on the carrier your mobile devices depend on. T-Mobile, for example, has implemented IPv6 throughout its network, according to vice president of enterprise architecture Bala Subramanian, in a blog posting. Other carriers haven't responded to requests about their IPv6 progress.

What this means is that you're going to have to learn IPv6 so you can manage those devices that use it. Eventually, most if not all of your mobile devices will use IPv6. But in the meantime, it's more important that you grasp a full understanding of this protocol, and proceed carefully. You'll have to do this eventually, but there's not a need to rush into an IPv6 change-over.

Source : Wayne Rash

Organized by the Internet Society, and building on the successful one-day World IPv6 Day event held on 8 June 2011, World IPv6 Launch represents a major milestone in the global deployment of IPv6.  As the successor to the current Internet Protocol, IPv4, IPv6 is critical to the Internet's continued growth as a platform for innovation and economic development.

Visit the World IPv6 Launch site : http://www.worldipv6launch.org/

 

Appurity are discussing the change to IPv6 now! For further details on how best to plan, deploy and support this change please contact us - info@appurity.co.uk.

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