So June 6, 2012, has been declared the launch day for IPv6. We have been talking a lot about the demise of IPv4 and the coming of IPv6 but so far it has been just that: talking!
The Internet BIGs have enabled permanently IPv6 on their networks: Akamai, AT&T, COMCAST, D-Link, Facebook, Free Telecom, Google, Internode, KDDI, Limelight, Microsoft BING, Time Warner Cable, XS4AL, Yahoo. That’s quite a bunch!
IPv4 supports “only” 4 billion addresses (directly, engineers have been able to accommodate a few more by using dynamical addressing and subnets) and this is not enough, particularly taking into account the connection with Things.
With IPv6, sky is the limit: we can, approximately, address up to
655.570.793.348.866.943.898.599 end points.
Does such a big figure make any sense? Well, it means you have enough addresses to give 4,000 of them for each square millimeter of the Earth land surface. Quite sufficient, at least for some time!
In the future I will expect to see an evolution were we will need to provide an IP address not just for things, but also for certain types of information and once that happens we might start to really appreciate the capability (from the addressing point of view) of IPv6!