Most computers access the Internet through public IP addresses managed and distributed by the IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority). These are made up of a combination of 32 numbers that provide 4,294 million access addresses. With the growth of the Internet, the model has started to feel the strain and two thirds of these addresses have already been assigned. Forward thinking telecommunications operators and ISPs are now looking to ensure they are IPv6 ready, as discussions about the long term future of IPv4 continue.
Recently there has been a more positive stance towards encouraging ISPs and equipment makers to adopt and develop IPv6 services and technology, particularly by organisations with significant political influence such as the US Department of Defence and the European Union. The subject of IPv6 has also been a dominant topic of discussion at recent meetings such as RIPE and North American Network Operators’ Group (NANOG).
Matthew Finnie, Interoute’s joint CTO/CIO commented, “By incorporating IPv6 capability into our network we are a step ahead of forecasts made by industry analysts who estimate that the range of possible new addresses for IPv4 may reach a limit as early as 2011. The investment in a native IPv6 capability is testament to Interoute’s commitment to ensuring its customers have access to the most advanced services from Europe’s most advanced network.”
Interoute’s Native IPv6 service means that any customer wanting to adopt this next generation protocol will be able to. In addition, Interoute will not make any additional charge for enabling IPv6 over and above the standard tariff.
IPv6 multiplies by 1028* the number of available IP addresses and provides more integrated security and greater mobility benefits. Approved in 1994 by the international community, Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), IPv6’s adoption has been slow because it requires network re-engineering investments, as well as system and equipment upgrades.
IPv6 allows companies to start up new services with public IP addresses, enabling communications between various devices such as computers, PDAs and Internet phones as well as navigation with mobile systems.