Feeds

Ready or not, IPv6 is coming

Google attempts to avert interweb end-of-days scenario

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

Analysis Google last week touted the benefits and ease of switching to IPv6, the next generation internet protocol, while the IT world in general remains resolutely indifferent about the technology.

Uptake of IPv6 is low, despite predictions that IPv4 numbers will become used up in as little as two years. A recent survey by the Internet Society found that many within a small sample of internet industry heavy hitters reckoned IPv6 uptake was being driven more by fashion than a strong business case.

That's far from a universal view, with Google amongst the strongest proponents of early adoption of the next generation internet technology.

A team of Google engineers has worked on an IPv6 transition project on a part-time basis for about 18 months. The work means that the majority of the search engine giant's applications and services have supported IPv6 (as explained here) since January. Google Maps IPv6 support was added last month.

"We can provide all Google services over IPv6," Google network engineer Lorenzo Colitti said during a panel discussion at a meeting of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) last week.

Google engineers took IPv6 from the development of network architecture blueprints and software engineering work, through a trial phase, until Google made IPv6-based services publicly available. The project used 20 per cent of a team of Google engineers' time between July 2007 until its completion in January 2009.

Putting together a pilot IPv6 network "was not expensive" nor particularly difficult, according to Colitti, who advised organisations to roll out next-generation IPv6 networks in stages. Colitti said that moving to IPv6 reduces the infrastructure and support costs associated with piece-meal upgrades to existing IPv4 systems, such as the addition of additional layers of Network Address Translator kit. NAT equipment allows multiple internet-connected devices to present the same IP address.

Colitti's paper on the benefits of IPv6, presented during the conference, can be found here.

Chicken and Egg

Google recently hosted a conference for IPv6 implementers, shortly after the ad aggregator published a manifesto on why IPv6 was a significant technology.

By expanding the number of IP addresses - enough for three billion addresses for every person on the planet - IPv6 will clear the way for the next generation of VoIP, video conferencing, mobile applications, "smart" appliances (Internet-enabled heating systems, cars, refrigerators, and other devices) and other novel applications.

In a report prepared for the National Institute of Standards & Technology in 2005, RTI International estimated annual benefits in excess of $10 billion.

Unfortunately, IPv6 presents a classic chicken-and-egg problem. The benefits of any one network operator, device vendor, application and content provider, or Internet user adopting IPv6 are limited if there is not a critical mass of other adopters. As a result, adoption lags.

Despite this enthusiasm (from Google at least) only a minority of organisations, admittedly very significant players including the US federal government, engineering services firm Bechtel, UK academic network JANET and err... The Pirate Bay, have embraced the next-generation Internet protocol.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Wanna keep your data for 1,000 YEARS? No? Hard luck, HDS wants you to anyway
Combine Blu-ray and M-DISC and you get this monster
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
US boffins demo 'twisted radio' mux
OAM takes wireless signals to 32 Gbps
Apple flops out 2FA for iCloud in bid to stop future nude selfie leaks
Millions of 4chan users howl with laughter as Cupertino slams stable door
Students playing with impressive racks? Yes, it's cluster comp time
The most comprehensive coverage the world has ever seen. Ever
Run little spreadsheet, run! IBM's Watson is coming to gobble you up
Big Blue's big super's big appetite for big data in big clouds for big analytics
Seagate's triple-headed Cerberus could SAVE the DISK WORLD
... and possibly bring us even more HAMR time. Yay!
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.