New Internet Protocol Paper
Most of the students, educators, and other computer professionals have found out that they need familiarity with networking protocols. The technical details are more sophisticated than most professionals, educators, and students need. Therefore, there is a need for an understanding of the basic uses, terminology, configurations, and features for the technical decision maker. The Internet’s dominance has made the computer professionals to become familiar with its basic functionality. At the moment, Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) is the used standard for Internet communications. However, the Internet is expanding tremendously, and IPv4 is becoming losing the ability to handle the increasing demand. Therefore, there is a desperate necessity for a new standard which will allow the Internet to continue growing as well as function.
Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6)
Internet Protocol version 6 or simply IPv6 is the current standard for the Internet communications. Both IPv4 and IPv6 have a similar basic function, but IPv6 has some drastic differences. The differences come in the form of addressing, security, and configurations. At the moment, several established organizations such as Microsoft and Cisco are in the process of developing and testing the IPv6 protocol. Beta is software that enable construction of IIPv6 networks and which has been released to the public. Additionally, IPv6 provides significant advancements while IPv4 has a shortage of addresses. Therefore, many organizations have gone on implementing the new IPv6 (Minoli, 2013).
The conceiving behind IPv6 was replacing the previous IPv4 standard which had been adopted twenty years ago. The IPv4 was thought to be the robust standard which could be implemented easily. IPv4 has been used successfully while supporting the communication systems in the information society. It has also been updated therefore extending its life in IPsec protocol, and NAT mechanism. However, its capabilities have been found wanting in some areas such as exhaustion of its address, auto-configuration, Internet growth and routing table maintenance, security, quality of service, and mobility. Therefore, IPv6 was developed to help in overcoming the above problems. There are areas which IPv6 has greatly improved such as simplification of the header format. The basic header of a basic IPv6 is 40 bytes long despite the increased allocation of addresses.
IPv6 has also expanded its capacity for both addressing and routing. The previous addressing and routing capacity for IPv4 were 32 bits. The IPv6 has expanded this capacity from the 32 bits to 128 bits. This has enabled a huge increase in the number of address combinations, address auto-configurations, and levels of hierarchical address organization. This has also increased the number of address the current communication protocol can host 232 addresses to 2128 addresses which will not be exhausted easily.
The addressing scheme of IPv6 will also lead to the elimination of the need for network address translation (NAT). NAT causes several problems associated with networking like hiding several hosts behind the IP addresses pool in the end-to-end nature of communications through the Internet. The implementation of IPv6 also brings about a quality of service that several new computer applications such as IP telephony, interactive games, e-commerce, and video and audio require. IPv6 can be said to have been a best effort Internet communications service. However, IPv6 ensure that quality of service is achieved which is a set of requirements needed to help in delivering performance guarantee in the process of transportation of traffic over the network.
IPv6 also has the feature of Mobile IPv6 (MIPv6). This unique feature of the communication protocol ensures that transport layer connection survives as well as allows the host computer to be reached easily regardless of where it is located on the IPv6 network. This ensures that the transport layer connection survives. Although the mobile nodes within the network change locations and addresses, the Mobile IPv6 (MIPv6) ensures that the existing connections through which mobile node communications happen are maintained. This has been accomplished by making connections to mobile nodes to have particular addresses that are assigned to the mobile node. These are the addresses the mobile node can easily be reached. The feature is well documented in the RFC 3775 (Lee et al., 2009).
IPv6 Deployment Status
The first step towards deployment of IPv6 is making them coexist with IPv4 across the globe. The IPv6 deployment forum was created in 1999, and its primary mission is educating the Internet users globally the benefits of IPv6 standard as well as promoting and implementing the global deployment of the protocol. The forum has an impressive membership which comprises of telecommunication manufacturers, telecom operators, Internet service providers (ISPs), and Internet solutions vendors. Others are consulting companies and research and development organizations among others. The current rate of adoption and deployment of IPv6 in different parts of the world is strongly encouraging, and it gives the idea of how the Internet will look like in the future (Lee et al., 2009).
Figure 1: IPv6 Deployment Status
The government of the United States issued a mandate as early as 2008 that all civilians, vendors, and defense to make a switch to the IPv6 by the end of summer that year. This move and requirement by the United States government boosted the deployment of IPv6. A firm in Canada dealing with research and development in advanced computer networking technologies has developed a tunnel server. The tunnel server allows the connection of IPv4 node to the 6Bone. This has led to the achievement of the International connectivity of IPv6 in the United States and other countries as well.
Security Benefits of IPv6
It is critical of some supporters of IPv6 who sell IPv6 regarding an increase in the number of IP address and performance benefits instead of considering the security benefits as well. Such security benefits include the previously discussed Internet Protocol security (IPsec) which was a development of IPv6 but it was back-engineered for application with IPv4. IPsec is an optional security component in IPv4 but it is mandatory and a critical component of IPv6. It makes man-in-the-middle attacks hard for attackers (Courtney, 2008).
Encryption has also been made mandatory with IPv6. Encryption ensures more data protection than with IPv4. The two protocols are different in that IPv6 was developed from the ground thus incorporating end-to-end data encryption. This encryption and checking of integrity in the VPNs has become a standard component of IPv6 which is also available for all connections as well as being supported by most of the compatible devices and systems (Courtney, 2008).
IPv6 also has strong measures for mobile devices. Each of the devices is allocated a consistent IP address thus enabling the businesses to have a definition for security policy for each mobile device that applies at the time the device is being used. Additionally, the abundance of IP addresses enables the allocation of businesses addresses their blocks of IP addresses. This helps in delivering another security benefit. Having such blocks of IP addresses under the control of businesses, they can apply several security policies to their corporate IP addresses which make the process to be managed easily (Courtney, 2008).
The IPv4 has remained with the old and familiar unicast, broadcast, and broadcast addresses. However, with IPv6, there is unicast, multicast, and anycast. The users no longer use the IPv6 broadcast addresses anymore. The broadcast addresses have been replaced with the multicast addressing. The unicast in IPv6 and IPv4 are similar in that they have a single address which identifies a single interface. The old IPv4 broadcast has been replaced with multicast in IPv6 where a packet which is sent to multicast addresses is delivered to each of the interfaces in the group.
This paper has discussed Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) in details. Its benefits are immeasurable, and its impact on the organization upon implementation goes as far as ensuring the organization remains secure. It has impacted the organization more regarding availing them with more addresses which have gone on to improve the security of the network. This has made the implementation of IPv6 worth every resource and time at the organization and national levels. There is more information about IPv6 and its implementation that has not been discussed in this paper due to the levels of comprehension. Therefore, there is a need for researchers and professional users to embark on unearthing such information to benefit the users.
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