We have recently implemented IPv6 on our core networks within our data centres, enabling our clients to deploy IPv6 on their own systems. For more details, see RIPE. AIMES is supporting World IPv6 Launch and the RIPE NCC IPv6 Act Now campaign.
What is IPv6 and why do we need it?
The Internet operates by transferring data between networks in packets. In order to communicate and send/receive packets of data, each host, computer or other device connected to the Internet must be identified by a unique IP address. IPv4 has approximately four billion IP addresses (the sequence of numbers assigned to each Internet-connected device). The explosion in the number of people, devices, and web services on the Internet means that IPv4 is running out of space. IPv6, the next-generation Internet protocol which provides more than 340 trillion, trillion, trillion addresses, will connect the billions of people not connected today, allow a huge range of devices to connect directly with one another, and help ensure the Internet can continue its current growth rate indefinitely.
The address space used by the current version of the Internet protocol, IPv4, is expected to run out in the near term. Without action, we risk increased costs and limited functionality online for Internet users everywhere, in addition to curtailing the Internet’s growth of a platform for innovation and economic development. The only long-term solution to this problem is adoption of IPv6, which provides a practically unlimited number of addresses. IPv6 is used extensively in many large networks, but it has never been enabled for end users at a global scale.
Organised by the Internet Society, World IPv6 Launch on 6 June 2012 is intended to motivate organizations across the industry – including Internet service providers (ISPs), hardware makers, and web companies – to prepare for and permanently enable Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) on their products and services as Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) address space runs out.