How You Can Benefit From Being IPv6 Ready Is your organization running out of IP addresses? It could be. As the volume of internet-connected devices continues to increase, the current internet addressing scheme, known as Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4), is at its capacity. The American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN), the governing board for IP number allocation, is not assigning new IP space in almost any circumstance. This is a worldwide issue that affects every organization and needs a solution. IPv6 was created as an alternative means to keep pace with demand and continue to provide reliable internet connectivity. To avoid future complications, organizations should switch their internet addressing schemes to IPv6 to keep their devices up and running. What does this mean for you and your organization? You will eventually need new IP addresses for your internet-connected devices and you’re most likely going to have to transition to IPv6 sooner rather than later. The IPv4 shortage can be attributed to the rise of mobile devices and the Internet of Things (IoT). Gartner estimates that there will be 20.8 billion internet-connected things by 2020. To understand what kinds of equipment, devices, and applications are affected by IPv6, take a look at some examples from the Federal Communications Commission: Computer operating systems, such as Mac OS X, Windows, and Android. Computer networking equipment, such as cable and DSL modems, wireless access points (“WiFi routers”), routers, and home gateways. Networked home electronics, such as Blu-ray players, AV receivers, and television sets capable of connecting to the Internet. Home security systems that use IP networks. Internet service providers (ISPs). Web browsing software, such as Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Firefox. Computer security software, such as firewalls and anti-virus programs. Voice-over-IP and video conferencing programs. IPv6 is the future and will at some point become an integral part of your organization’s IT department. ARIN estimates that by 2018 there will be five billion IPv6 capable devices and connections. Since IPv6 will soon be everywhere, it’s essential to consider the benefits of IPv6 over IPv4, and how your organization can start making the switch now. The Differences Between IPv4 and IPv6 Three Steps to Follow to be IPv6 Ready 1. Conduct an audit of your hardware and software. IPv6 is not supported on all hardware platforms. Some equipment has IPv6 support in software (good) and some has support in hardware (best). To determine whether your organization can switch to IPv6, you will need to audit your IP-enabled equipment, from core routers to Customer Premises Equipment (CPE). 2. Utilize transitional technologies, such as the tunnel method and the native method. In the tunnel method, end users’ PC/router tunnels to a relay server to get reachability to the IPv6 network. In the native method, IPv4 and IPv6 are run on the same routing infrastructure, also known as dual stack. This method also adds IPv6 to existing IPv4 applications and servers, and IPv6 routing is completely independent of IPv4. Another possibility is to request address space from ARIN or Aureon. 3. Contact your vendors and consultants, and begin to put a plan together. It’s best to act as soon as possible, so that your organization is prepared for the transition to IPv6. A Challenge you can Conquer IPv6 lets countless more devices connect to the internet and assigns new IP addresses for the foreseeable future. While this situation is a challenge for every organization, if you have a plan in place to switch to IPv6, it will make the transition easier. Aureon has been supporting IPv6 for over eight years, and can support your transition to IPv6. Does your organization need to be IPv6 ready? Contact us today. Leta Burke Leta M. Burke is the Vice President of Business Development at Aureon. Leta's area of expertise and passion is telecommunications. She has over 30 years of experience in senior leadership positions to include sales/marketing, operations, business and channel management. She is best known for establishing and leading highly profitable teams. Leta is passionate about the client experience and driving results.