IPv6: Being Prepared

Joel Goldstein - Wednesday, February 25, 2015
IPV6An IP address is to a computer or IP phone (or other networked device) what a phone number is to a telephone, or what a residential address is to a dwelling. Like a phone number, which is unique and points to some telephone, an IP address is also unique and points to a particular pc or other device on the Internet.

 

The following three addresses – 1-800-ToysRUs, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20006, and 4.2.2.2 – are three kinds of addresses, pointing to a telephone at Toys“R”Us, Inc., the White House, and to the most popular popular DNS server, respectively.

But IP addresses have a limitation which the other two address schemes don’t. There isn’t enough IP address combinations to give each networked device on the globe a unique number.


When the Internet was born, the engineers couldn’t predict a time when billions of devices will be connected to the internet. When it became clear in the early 1990’s that IP address are running out fast, a new scheme was designed called IPv6. IPv6 has enough combinations to give each grain of sand on earth a unique number and no one dares to say that we will ever run out of addresses. (IPv5 was an experimental version which was never used.) 


But the transition from IPv4 to IPv6 will not go easy because those two systems are not interoperable. Although many predictions were given when everyone will be using IPv6, those dates have come and gone and we’re still many years away from a complete transition. Wikipedia says that for the foreseeable future we will still be using IPv4 alongside IPv6.

Despite the bleak forecast of IPv6 adoption, everyone, including we at TeleGo, is making preparations for the transition to IPv6 which will happen at a date no one knows when.

Switching a VoIP network to IPv6 has additional limitations which data networks don’t have. Because the IPv6 headers are much longer than IPv4 headers, and because voice packets are much more than data packets, IPv6 will put additional strain on networks, using more bandwidth, as much 46 percent.

 

But we have to be prepared. From attending the North American IPv6 Summit in Denver to registering for the V6 World Congress 2015 which will take place next month in Paris, we at TeleGo keep abreast with all the latest IPv6 developments as it relates to VoIP and beyond.


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