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IPv6 adoption offers many networking advantages

By Donna Donnowitz
May 23, 2011
Adopting the new IPv6 internet address protocol may be a necessity for many businesses. However, the need to deploy IPv6 should not overshadow the technology's benefits. Companies that recognize the advantages of deploying IPv6 can improve their networking systems by simplifying infrastructure, TVTechnology reports.

The IPv6 protocol offers a number of inherent benefits that can simplify network architectures within a business. One of these advantages is the ability to keep IP addresses public.

According to the report, network administrators can define the visibility of each IP address based on preference. This allows companies to keep IP addresses public, but still secure, when transmitting between private networks. By doing this, businesses can more easily connect devices to transmit information and no longer need to depend on network address translation, the report said.

Typically, network address translation is needed to connect a device in a private network to another using the public internet, according to the report. In an era when more businesses are supporting telework and mobile work policies, removing dependency on network address translation can dramatically increase network simplicity.

Deploying IPv6 infrastructure can also help businesses improve network performance. The report said IPv4 was governed by a routing procedure that limited traffic management to a "best effort" policy. This means that the networking devices were somewhat limited in how much they could reroute traffic without specific management principles.

With IPv6, data packet headers, which contain basic metadata about the packet, feature a traffic-class field that can be used to clearly define how the network should prioritize the data and therefore assure optimal performance within the network architecture.

Another key benefit of IPv6, according to the report, is based around device security. While IPv6 users may experience a few security issues because of the technology's youth, the underlying infrastructure is more secure, the report said. This security is gained by the ability to deploy more unique addresses. As a result, firewalls and other security protocols can be extended to the individual device, and are no longer simply guardians of the private network, according to the report.

While IPv6 has the potential to offer important security improvements, it is important to understand some of the technology's risks. In a recent interview with the Tech Herald, industry expert Asaf Greiner said IPv6 will create some security problems when first deployed because many techniques used to secure IPv4 technologies will not be effective protecting IPv6 networks.


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