Any network, be it a LAN, MAN or WAN needs addressing of various nodes over the network in order to assure the successful delivery of data packets at correct location. This type of addressing is performed using standard addressing called as Internet Protocol addressing or IP addressing. 32-bit version of IP addresses, also known as IP v4 was introduced almost three decades ago and will soon become extinct due to exponential growth in the number of networking nodes. However, increasing business needs for these addresses raised a concern on whether to use 32-bit format of IP address or not. In order to accommodate and facilitate increasing number of mobile devices, desktops, network devices like servers, routers, switches etc., the concept of IP v6 was drafted.
A recently conducted study states that by 2015 there will be more than 7 billion mobile devices alone, which connect to networks over the globe. This will soon exhaust the availability of IP v4 type internet addresses and raise the need for more addresses.
This arose a need for a new structure to address devices over the internet...
IP v6 is a 128-bit addressing standard which drastically improves the capability of a network in order to allocate devices with unique address. Businesses are also realizing the importance of using 128-bit version of IP addressing, through which they not only inherit a large capacity of networking nodes but also get various other benefits like:
- Cost effectiveness: IP v4 addresses need Network Address Translation (NAT) devices to resolve addresses over the LAN. With IP v6 introduced, the need for these separate devices are withdrawn which eventually contributes in lowering down the cost of installation and maintaining the network. Moreover, purchasing IP v4 address will cost more as their availability will reduce over time and v6 address will be more cost-effective to deploy due to their abundant availability.
- Eliminates website unavailability: With shortage of v4 addresses, either businesses have to host upgraded or new services on existing infrastructure or have to purchase addresses at higher cost. In both the circumstances, the impact on business is negative as businesses have to provide services with high cost. Even if services are hosted on the same infrastructure, it will lead to increased load which will eventually lead to accessibility issues. Access to other services may be hindered due to large number of pending requests from different users.
- Auto-configuration capabilities: Deploying IP v6 in enterprise networks brings in the advantage of automatically configurable networks. It provides more simple and easily manageable network and nodes inside an enterprise network, especially in large installations.
- Real-time information access: v6 protocol provides real-time access to information which eventually provides great inventory control and allows production planning.
Other benefits which could be drawn from 128-bit addressing is end-to-end connectivity to provide direct addressing due to the availability of vast address space. It also provides interoperability, mobility capabilities and improved web security features for securing a network node.