Friday, June 22, 2007


Writing an essay on the next generation of the internet is a bit silly, but Internet Protocol version 6 will arrive next year in the US government to replace IPv4. IPv4 has been around since the early 1980s when no one envisioned today's internet. The requirements for IPv6 were completed 11 years ago but there was -- and is --no urgency to change from version 4. Pressure is mounting as the internet continues to explode in growth.

The problem is simple. The world is running out of internet numerical address numbers. These are the numbers computers use to identify a machine connected to the system. Think of a telephone number and you have the idea. IPv6 is a solution for that problem that will last for generations, but it also provides advantages to internet users. Unfortunately, full implementation of IPv6 is likely to take decades because the new system co-exists alongside the old. When IT managers get around to it, they'll shift from version 4 to version 6. Since it has taken 11 years already and few use IPv6 now, no one is looking for a rapid shift in the next five years. The only reason the US government is changing is that it was mandated.

However, given all that, for the few of you who will enjoy IPv6 starting next year, there are things you will be able to do with it that we can't do easily or as well today. Enjoy the advantages, and take it easy on the rest of us who are stuck in the past.

This, by the way, is the 65th essay posted on online-pr.com.


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