CES 2015: Bringing IPv6 Answers to the World of Consumer Electronics

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Last week ARIN set up shop in the Las Vegas Convention Center alongside a veritable ocean of technology experts and gadget gurus. From automotive technology to personal drones, one of CES’ main themes revolved around all the exciting ways that new devices could connect and take advantage of the Internet. ARIN Booth at CES. Most of the new gadgets at CES are identified by and will connect to the Internet using IP addresses, which are anything but new.

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CES 2015: Is your web content ready for IPv6?

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This week ARIN is at CES, the largest technology tradeshow of the year.  We will be reaching out to consumer electronics industry movers and shakers to educate them about the importance of deploying IPv6 on all public facing web services.  In the video below, one of the founding fathers of the Internet, Vint Cerf, explains the issue. Stop by our booth in Tech East to discuss why IPv6 needs to be at the top of your company’s technology goals for 2015. You want to be reaching the whole Internet, not just part of it.

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Set Up IPv6 in Your Own Home

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IPv6 in home or residential networks is getting much better. North America has seen exponential IPv6 use on the Internet year after year since World IPv6 Launch (6 June 2012). Residential Internet service providers like Comcast and Time Warner are almost singularly responsible for this sharp and dramatic growth. However, if you aren’t a Comcast or Time Warner user, it’s a totally different story. I’m one of those users, and I want to pass on some of the great ways to setup your own IPv6 internet access using one of the great (and free) IPv6 over IPv4 tunnel providers.

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8 steps to get your site ready for IPv6

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Add an IPv6 address to your web server

The first step is to get your web server listening on an IPv6 address, as well as an IPv4 address. How you achieve this will depend on how your web server is managed. If you’re on a shared hosting account, you’ll be dependent on your hosting provider. If you run your own server, you’ll need to obtain an IPv6 address from your hosting provider (assuming they support IPv6), configure your server to use it and then ensure that your web server (e.g. Apache is listening on this address).

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Build Your Own IPv6 Lab

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IPv6 is called the new Internet protocol. However, it’s been running on the Internet since 1999, so it’s really not so new, it’s just that not a lot of networks have implemented it as of yet. The challenge is that it is different from what we are all used to working with. It’s a bigger number: 128 bits compared to IPv4’s 32 bits. It has colons instead of periods (ok, dots for us diehard networking folks). It has all new routing protocol components. And on, and on. But, it has WAY MORE possible addresses than IPv4! The theory is, we should never run out in our lifetimes! But, it is different. So, how do you learn about IPv6 if your company is not implementing IPv6? How do you afford the equipment that is capable of running IPv6? More importantly, should you spend your own money and time to learn about IPv6 if there are no other compelling reasons or funding? The answer: YES, you should learn it on your own! A professional technologist should realize that investing in yourself is important and generally does payoff in the future. How much are you willing to invest, money wise? How about very little (and I mean ‘little’ as in a few bucks)?

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Why Is the Transition To IPv6 Taking So Long?

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We stand on the cusp of an explosion in the number of Internet-connected devices. The mobile revolution was just the beginning. Combined, the burgeoning wearables market and the Internet of Things will potentially create billions of new connected devices over the next few years. Every device will need an IP address and there are far too few available addresses within the IPv4 system to handle the sheer quantity of connections. It’s a problem that’s been predicted and solved for many years, in theory at least. But IPv6 is being adopted at a glacially slow pace. The reasons for the gradual adoption are simple to understand. It’s expensive. The Internet is made up of tens of millions of servers, routers, and switches that were designed to work with IPv4. Upgrading that infrastructure entails a significant capital investment.

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Getting Serious About IPv6 – Go Big or Go Home

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I gave an Interop IPv6 presentation titled “Getting Serious About IPv6 – Go Big or Go Home” in Las Vegas on April 3, 2014. Since then, ARIN announced it has moved to Phase 4 (down to its last /8 of IPv4 – that happened on April 23, 2014). I think what surprised people the most (based on the feedback I got from the session) was that my argument about adoption for IPv6 had little to do with ARIN running out of IPv4. After all, this is what everyone talks about, that there are no more IPv4 addresses. My argument is: You have already deployed IPv6… you just didn’t know it. At this point, you may be scratching your head saying Ed is crazy, what is he talking about? Let me point out that all major OS platforms (and different flavors of those platforms) support IPv6 and have for a while now. It turns out that IPv6 is enabled (on by default) and preferred in almost all cases.

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IPv6 Effects on Web Performance

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There are a lot of efforts to improve the speed of the web. The inevitable release of HTTP 2.0 in the near future will address many of the existing web performance bottlenecks. Will IPv6 increase web performance in the future? The answer is Yes! IPv6 has many improvements over its v4 counterpart that will help make the web a faster place. IPv6 does not fragment packets; this means that any packet reassembly does so at the client or at some other endpoint. The router is free to use those extra CPU cycles to move packets faster through the network.

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Just in time for summer – IPv6 is heating up

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Just last week was the second anniversary of the World IPv6 Launch, and the Internet Society published some interesting and useful information in celebration of this milestone—everything from an infographic to IPv6 case studies. But that isn’t the only milestone event that is contributing to the rising interest in IPv6. This week we also got word from our region to the south that LACNIC reached their final /10 of IPv4 address space on Tuesday, marking the exhaustion of addresses in their region.

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