02 April 2010

IPv6: The Next Generation Internet

IPv6: The Next Generation Internet

Matthew J. Banks

     Communication protocols by design allow communication with unique identifiers known as network addresses. In their inception, these addresses only encompassed a network size of 2tothe8th,
(Computer World Australia, 2005) and as users eventually came to, the available designations would have to expand, and have done so to the IPv4 of commonplace and practice to the urgently needed IPv6 solution. Seemingly, as a workstation would create a DNS request to a DNS, the DHCP server will request each available workstation to acknowledge the DHCP and identify itself (ARS Technica, 2007). So called ‘router advertisements’ generate their own lower 64 bits in completion of the host address in tandem with the DNS network address using the process of network discovery, among other silent protocols.

     Seamless transfer of data on new highly efficient innovations of IPv6, create a great deal of improvement to IPv4 and make an incredible contribution to the improvement of QoS for all existing networks as each communication is streamlined by reverse compatible DHCP information that will one day make DHCP protocols obsolete (ARS Technica, 2007). With the ability to administer addresses in the format of IPv4 in addition to a seamless ability to administer and resolve IP information, as comprehension, availability and the diminishing ability for IPv4 to handle the addressing needs of a planet, slowly but surely IPv6 will ultimately be the technical world’s final solution, reducing overall costs.

     Also in simple address translation, next generation IP addressing, IPv6, regular addressing provides global unicast addresses, in a similar fashion to IPv4. As for IPv6, the IETF have devised a way to address additional address types. Link local addresses begin in the fe80 network range and are used predominantly by the network for internal and sublevel processes, such as the DHCP notifications and broadcasts used to maintain a seamless communication with gateways and DNS, as previously mentioned, as well as background network discovery for public file sharing and other network utilities. A random block from the IPv6 address space, used to avoid assignment of duplicate addresses or shared address space , similar to RFC 1918 (Network Working Group, 1996), by separate organizations, starting with the Hexadecimal annotation fd. Such duplication and congestion causes confusion. Multicasting sends information and block data simultaneously to multiple users with a shared group address for the purpose of auto-configuration of session protocols, network discovery and over the internet as video broadcasts. In the case of wireless communication, under the use of IPv6, transmission are sent to the multicast IP address, allowing systems to ignore the packets sent or filter them at the point of the gateway switch, by IPv6 devices with the advantage of denying transmission to unwanted listeners in a call, request and acknowledge IPv6 network.

     This pales in comparison to IPv4, which in short detracts from the overwhelming benefits of the next generation of IP addressing, merely has 4,294,967,296 different values while using a 32-bit addressing architecture. This 32-bit addressing schema, set to complete its utilization before the end of the decade (ARS Technica, 2008) and most certainly replaced by IPv6, which has a 128-bit addressing parameter, (340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 addresses or 2^128 or 340+ Duodecillion), designed by the IETF in 1995. (ARS Technica, 2007)

     IPv4 can be run alongside IPv6 for network and IPv4-IPv6 transitional purposes both allowing a smooth migration and essential time to procure security solutions for IPv6, that is as IPv6 protections become available they can be constructed to secure networks. Tunneling is also an available option of security by means of transferring data across an IPv4 proprietary network, using IPv4 security measures, to an IPv6 network address wherein the IPv4 components are stripped, as the packet continues over IPv6 implementation. (ARS Technica, 2007) (ZDNET UK, 2008)

     Both procedures are active together, with stacking being the default setting of current windows systems, and with manual tunneling protocols available. With these procedures managed by a system utilizing IPv6, after using its DNS communication methods and choosing the simplest and most feasible solution, preferring IPv6 communications despite IPv4 inquiries. (ARS Technica, 2007)

     Smaller, link local, networks, using IPv6, will connect in the opposite manner of DHCP using an exacted formula for addressing and recognition of nodes very similar to IPv4, where as computers receive an assigned address for automatic ‘surfing’ of the internet, yet dissimilar in the firewall aspect due to IPv4 networks being guarded under encryption.

     Much as with the need to transition to IPv6, newer firewall products with specific protections necessary to next generation IP addressing, will need to be designed, tested and implemented, just as today’s IPv6 gateways.

     With such an expansive addressing schema, different network address block-allocations, allow implementation of subnets with different purposes much as object classes or user groups, among the possibility of “mobility and multihoming extensions” (ARS Technica, 2007) in IPv6, allowing for an even likelier probability of connectivity. This extemporaneous mobility offers portability of streaming communiqué from the land based mediums such as a home or office, to a cellular option such as a telephone or vehicle.

     Pressure is building for network implementations to advance their installations to IPv6, often citing that the IPv4 expansion is slowly closing available addresses amongst concerns of informed network administrators with auspicious though favored issues with pricing, intricacy and useful adoptions of next generation IP addressing. Understanding the value of converting to IPv6, assessment of complacency and technological inhibitors, in a competitive communication based society and our desire to utilize technologies potential, will be a defining issue over the coming addressing evolution.

     With the advent of IPv6, a broader and intrinsic intricate design will become more manageable and scalable while reaching new markets and revenues while reducing costs of large scale and RFID security capable networks (Computer World Australia, 2005). Technically implementation will expand to cover a world network of information and those who need access.


Computer World Australia, Initials. (2005, November 18). Ipv6 forum chief: the new internet is ready for consumption. Retrieved from http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/144638/ipv6_forum_chief_new_internet_ready_consumption/

ARS Technica, Initials. (2007, March 07). Everything you need to know about ipv6. Retrieved from http://arstechnica.com/hardware/news/2007/03/IPv6.ars/2

ZDNET UK, Initials. (2008, May 09). Icann attacks 'fat and happy' ipv4 users. Retrieved from http://www.zdnet.co.uk/news/it-strategy/2008/05/09/icann-attacks-fat-and-happy-ipv4-users-39413760/

Network Working Group, Initials. (1996, February). Rfc1918 - address allocation for private internets. Retrieved from http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc1918.html