July 12, 2012, 12:33 PM — This vendor-written tech primer has been edited by Network World to eliminate product promotion, but readers
should note that it will likely favor the submitter's approach.
The IPv6 movement has been years in the making. So many years, in
fact, that it has hardly been a movement at all. While a handful of regions, primarily in Asia and pockets of
Europe, have embraced IPv6, it has been otherwise largely ignored, something to be considered later while we exhaust IPv4 assets. This thinking has
clearly stunted the growth of IPv6, presenting opportunities to early adopters and IPv6 facilitators and
indigestion for the procrastinators.
Besides the indepletable address space (approximately 340 trillion, trillion, trillion unique IP addresses vs.
IPv4's 4.3 billion), IPv6 offers a number of network advantages: In most cases, for example, computers and applications will detect and take advantage of
IPv6-enabled networks and services, and in most cases, without requiring any action from the user. And IPv6
relieves the need for Network
Address Translation, a service that allows multiple clients to share a single IP address, but does not work
well for some applications.
BY THE NUMBERS: Why the Internet needs IPv6
For the Internet to take advantage of IPv6 most hosts on the Internet, as well as the networks connecting them,
will need to deploy the protocol. However, IPv6 deployment is proving a bigger challenge than expected mostly due
to lack of interest from the service providers and end users.
While IPv6 deployment is accelerating, according to a Google study, areas such as the Americas and Africa are
comparatively lagging in
deployment. In December 2010, despite marking its 12th anniversary as a Standards Track protocol, IPv6 was only
in its infancy in terms of general worldwide deployment.