It’s been a year since South Australia-based, ISP, Internode, began its IPv6 trial on customers; now it's urging businesses to take the impending IPv4 address exhaustion seriously.
Internode initiated its IPv6 technical trial in November 2009. About 200 of the ISP’s customers signed up for the trial; that’s about one per cent of its customer base.
The first publicly used Internet protocol since 1981, IPv4’s four billion addresses are running out rapidly.
IPv6 was created in 1998 as a successor, with its address space supporting 360 undecillion IP addresses.
“In October 2010, only 12 blocks remained available from the original 256 IPv4 blocks,” Internode chief information officer, Frank Falco, said in a statement. “The point is we used 11 blocks in the first eight months of this year so at this rate we’re likely to run out by mid-2011.”
“While we’re not alarmist about this problem, we want to make sure people are aware of the issue because it affects corporate purchase decisions which will have an impact for the next three years.”
According to Internode, it has learned how to architect its provisioning systems for IPv6 and has been keeping networking vendors such as Cisco and Juniper informed of its progress.
One of the problems posed by migration to IPv6 is the protocol does not support IPv4. With the exhaustion of IPv4 fast approaching, the ISP urges businesses to start planning now.
“During the transition, many organisations will run their networks in ‘dual stack’ mode with devices broadcasting both IPv4 and IPv6,” Internode said in a statement.
Benefits of IPv6 include improved auto-configuration of systems and facilitating allocation of IP addresses for every device that can connect to the Internet.