IPv6 and its Future prospect in developing countries

Posted on | maart 15, 2011 | No Comments

Moving on with globalization and adapting the needs of standardization, internet has been adaptive and proactive in its more dynamic form. Transcending from the less resourceful application to the multi dimensional prospect of utilization and effectiveness, internet has been more expanding and progressing technology in most profound way. Amidst the buzz of the formalization of Internet Protocol Version (IPv6) around the globe by 2012, IPv6 has been an important issue of concern. More or less with the future prospect of the IPv6, effective brain storming sessions needs to be incorporated for facilitating awareness and its deployment. The current need is the demand of knowledge focusing on different aspect of capacity building and creating awareness among the vast majority of professional in developing countries giving them new ideas of business prospect, awareness, infrastructure building, standardization etc.

The growing internet business and the high scale popularity of the e-business have certainly jeopardized the IP management system out casting the old IPv4 system. In developing countries IPv6 is a relatively new issue where resource sharing and technical aspect of its feasibility is lacking at both professional as well as in policy level. Thus, effective training and awareness is needed for relevant topics of IPv6, contemplating its current scenario and adaptation.

According to Wiki, “Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) is an Internet Protocol version which is designed to succeed IPv4, the first implementation which is still in dominant use currently. It is an Internet Layer protocol for packet-switched internetworks. The main driving force for the redesign of Internet Protocol is the foreseeable IPv4 address exhaustion. IPv6 was defined in December 1998 by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) with the publication of an Internet standard specification, RFC 2460. IPv6 has a vastly larger address space than IPv4. This results from the use of a 128-bit address, whereas IPv4 uses only 32 bits. The new address space thus supports 2128 (about 3.4×1038) addresses. This expansion provides flexibility in allocating addresses and routing traffic and eliminates the primary need for network address translation (NAT), which gained widespread deployment as an effort to alleviate IPv4 address exhaustion. IPv6 also implements new features that simplify aspects of address assignment (stateless address auto configuration) and network renumbering (prefix and router announcements) when changing Internet connectivity providers. The IPv6 subnet size has been standardized by fixing the size of the host identifier portion of an address to 64 bits to facilitate an automatic mechanism for forming the host identifier from Link Layer media addressing information (MAC address).”

Defining the possibilities, the RCF 2460 defines IP version 6 (IPv6) as a new version of the Internet Protocol, designed as the successor to IP version 4 (IPv4) [RFC-791]. The changes from IPv4 to IPv6 fall primarily into the following categories:

Expanded Addressing Capabilities: IPv6 increases the IP address size from 32 bits to 128 bits, to support more levels of addressing hierarchy, a much greater number of addressable nodes, and simpler auto-configuration of addresses. The scalability of multicast routing is improved by adding a “scope” field to multicast addresses. And a new type of address called an “anycast address” is defined, used to send a packet to any one of a group of nodes.
Header Format Simplification: Some IPv4 header fields have been dropped or made optional, to reduce the common-case processing cost of packet handling and to limit the bandwidth cost of the IPv6 header.
Improved Support for Extensions and Options: Changes in the way IP header options are encoded allows for more efficient forwarding, less stringent limits on the length of options, and greater flexibility for introducing new options in the future.
Flow Labeling Capability: A new capability is added to enable the labeling of packets belonging to particular traffic “flows” for which the sender requests special handling, such as non-default quality of service or “real-time” service.

The United States Department of Defense also standardized it as MIL-STD-1777. IPv4 is a connection-less protocol to be used on packet-switched Link Layer networks (e.g., Ethernet). It operates on a best effort delivery model, in that it does not guarantee delivery, nor does it assure proper sequencing, or avoid duplicate delivery. These aspects, including data integrity, are addressed by an upper layer transport protocol (e.g., Transmission Control Protocol). IPv4 provides only header integrity achieved with a checksum. Looking at the global scenario today most of the IT industries are using IPv4 system and have not seen much interest toward the new IPv6 system. To resolve the exhaustion of IP addresses, extending its address space is a straightforward solution where IPv6, the next generation of IP provides a huge number of IP addresses and makes NAT obsolete allowing the Internet to recover its original principles. In fact, it is expected that the entire address space of IPv4 will be exhausted around 2012 replacing the old with the dynamics of IPv6, resulting in better operation and management skills. First we need to understand the real technical aspect of IPv6, According to IPv6.org, “IPv6 is short for “Internet Protocol Version 6″. IPv6 is the “next generation” protocol designed by the IETF to replace the current version Internet Protocol, IP Version 4 (IPv4″).

Most of today’s internet uses IPv4, which is now nearly twenty years old. IPv4 has been remarkably resilient in spite of its age, but it is beginning to have problems. Most importantly, there is a growing shortage of IPv4 addresses, which are needed by all new machines added to the Internet. IPv6 fixes a number of problems in IPv4, such as the limited number of available IPv4 addresses. It also adds many improvements to IPv4 in areas such as routing and network auto configuration. IPv6 is expected to gradually replace IPv4, with the two coexisting for a number of years during a transition period.” The current deployment status of IPv6 and its technical status need to be overcome by effective knowledge sharing. With the massive deployment of Internet-related resources worldwide and the integration of IP-enabled consumer devices connected directly to the network, the issue of the depletion of IPv4 addresses is becoming pertinent. Indeed, there is wide recognition of the need for better awareness of the availability of IPv4 addresses and the deployment of IPv6. The use of Network Address Translation (NAT) as a strategy for reducing the use of public IPv4 addresses, several experts forecast depletion in the next few years. In addition to other features, IPv6 with its 128 bit address space is aimed at addressing the current shortage of public IPv4 addresses. IPv6 also introduces a privacy risk because it encodes information in the addresses, making this information externally visible. For instance, with IPv6, one can determine a company’s ISP based on the addresses used by its hosts. IPv6 also makes every host that uses multiple ISPs effectively multi-homed. IPv6 addresses can also encode MAC addresses that can reveal the manufacturers of the Ethernet interfaces in the hosts. These issues have already caught the attention of privacy groups.

However, the transition from IPv4 to IPv6 is going at a rather slow rate, with both versions being used in parallel. Many analyst and researchers attribute that market forces and other economic considerations have hugely influenced the condition where the IPv6 and its issue have been in a situation of unknown and vulnerable especially for developing countries. If proper resource sharing and awareness is not acquainted with the effective knowledge and technological transfer then IPv6 can result in a disaster.

AUTHOR: Shreedeep Rayamajhi
URL: http://www.shreedeeprayamajhi.blogspot.com
E-MAIL: weaker [at] gmail.com


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