Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Migrating to IPv6 is expected to take years, but is an urgent process because IPv4 addresses are running out and new security threats are beginning to take advantage of immature IPv6 networks. While the migration process will likely take a long time, many organizations in Europe have already made major strides in the right direction, according to a recent CircleID report.
The news source came to this conclusion after taking a somewhat non-traditional approach to identifying how businesses have adjusted to the protocol. Instead of taking a poll of internet traffic running through IPv6 channels, the new source collected data pertaining to how many Local Internet Registries have allocated IPv6 space successfully.
The regional IP address registry allocates IPv4 and IPv6 addresses to businesses within countries based on their need. To begin its analysis, the news source identified how many IPv4 addresses have been allocated to different local registries by the regional organization. This provided a general benchmark that could be used to compare with IPv6. Data was then collected to identify how many IPv6 addresses were allocated to those same registries. The results indicated that many businesses have begun taking the first steps toward full IPv6 migration.
The study found that the RIPE NCC service registry, which represents most of Europe, is fairly well-equipped to handle IPv6. Approximately 47 percent of Local Internet Registries already have the ability to support IPv6 address allocation. However, this statistic is somewhat misleading, as it does not take into account the overall size of the LIR. Once this is weighted into the measure, approximately 81 percent of IPv4 addresses in the region are currently owned by an LIR that also has IPv6 addresses.
This large percentage indicates that many local registries and businesses within those areas have begun supporting IPv6. However, the amount of actual IPv6 traffic indicates that few have applied the new protocol to websites and other end-user locations, indicating there is still a great deal of progress needed for IPv6 to truly take hold.
While more registries and businesses adopting IPv6 address space is a step in the right direction, it is not enough to indicate that all of the necessary progress has been made. A recent PCWorld report explains that increased IPv6 adoption is not consistently leading to more end users actually running IPv6. This could slow the protocol's development.
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