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IPv6 offers improved operational capabilities

By Donna Donnowitz
November 4, 2011
Migrating to IPv6 is quickly becoming critical for businesses, as more devices around the world are releasing with native support for the emerging protocol. However, urgency is not the only reason to migrate to IPv6. The new protocol offers advanced operational capabilities that improve on what IPv4 can do. According to a recent TelecomResellerUCNetworks report, two superior aspects of IPv6 come out in ICMPv6 and neighbor discovery.

The report explained that ICMPv6 is a default function that is attached to the new protocol. It provides three key capabilities that required completely separate appliances when operating in IPv4. These abilities are address resolution protocol, the ICMP redirect message and ICMP router discovery messages. These three functions combine into a single capability known as neighbor discovery.

According to the news source, neighbor discovery has the potential to offer significant benefits to network managers, giving them insight into how the network is operating at any time. Functions of neighbor discovery include finding nearby routers that can be used to pass on data packets, helping nodes track which neighboring routers are available and which cannot be reached and giving nodes the ability to identify the link-layer addresses for any neighboring routers that have attached links.

Neighbor discovery also supports a diverse range of networking functions that improve performance and efficiency, the report explained. These include such capabilities as parameter discovery, address autoconfiguration, prefix discovery, duplicate address detection, router discovery, neighbor unreachability detection, redirect and address resolution.

The news source said these neighbor discovery capabilities go well beyond the parameters of what pure ICMPv6 can do, which is already more than what IPv4 setups can accomplish. As a result, those running networks on IPv6 should experience significant improvements in maintenance, management and performance by leveraging these advanced functions.

The progression toward IPv6 adoption has been a slow one thus far, but many businesses are beginning to catch the wave of adoption and move toward the new protocol. According to a recent survey from the Number Resource Organization, a company that works with the registries that distribute IP addresses, a growing number of businesses are making an effort to deploy IPv6 infrastructure despite the lack of current demand from end users. That demand is likely to rise as more registries run out of IPv4 addresses.

Perle’s serial to Ethernet converters connect serial based equipment across an Ethernet network. The Perle IOLAN range of Console Servers, Device Servers and Terminal Servers feature built-in support for IPv6 along with a broad range of authentication methods and encryption technologies.


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