What are IPv4 and IPv6?
IPv4 is the current version of the Internet Protocol, the identification system the Internet uses to send information between devices. This system assigns a series of four numbers (each ranging from 0 to 255) to each internet connected device. IPv4 only allows for about 4 billion addresses.
In 1998, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) released standards for a new Internet Protocol, IPv6 under RFC2460. IPv6 is a 128-bit IP address space (each broken into hexadecimal groups), which means around 340 trillion trillion trillion addresses. An IPv4 address looks like 192.168.1.1 whereas an IPv6 address would look like 2001:0470:82a9:0007:f2de:f1ff:fe5b:b324 (Thanks to Ed Horley for the correction to my IPv6 address)
On June 8th 2011, World IPv6 Day was held for the first time organized by The Internet Society. The aim last year was to test the public deployment of the IPv6 protocol by a few hundred sites including Akamai Technologies,Microsoft,Google,Facebook, Yahoo to name a few. Another goal was to get a sense of what it will take to transition to IPv6 addresses when addresses in the IPv4 space run out which actually happened in 2011.
As Internet Service Providers(ISPs) enable IPv6, and support it, home users at home with modern operating systems and devices will start using IPv6 automatically. Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Mac OS X 10.7 support IPv6. You can check your home router’s documentation to see if it support’s IPv6, and contact your ISP to ask if IPv6 is deployed in your service area.
In the June issue of Microsoft's Springboard Insider newsletter, I see that attendees at TechEd North America 2012 can be a part of the IPv6 BootCamp: Get Up to Speed Quickly. I was happy to see that deploying IPv6 with Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2 will be covered.
There will also be a session entitled IPv6: HardCore Networking Services covering differences between IPv4/IPv6 and ARP, DHCP, DNS, DNSSEC and their new roles. This session will also cover common misconceptions about IPv6 and how you should avoid them.
I plan to be at both of these sessions at Teched North America 2012. If you get a chance to attend Teched North America 2012 I would hope you take the time to get the knowledge about IPv6.
Comments are welcomed.