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 Overhaul of net addresses begins

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Number of posts : 1056
Age : 69
Location : Pretoria - South Africa
Registration date : 2007-10-18

PostSubject: Overhaul of net addresses begins   Tue Feb 05, 2008 7:23 am

Overhaul of net addresses begins
Monday, 4 February 2008

The first big steps on the road to overhauling the net's core addressing
system have been taken.

On Monday the master address books for the net are being updated to include
records prepared in a new format known as IP version 6.

Widespread use of this format will end the shortage of addresses that sites
can be given. The net's current addressing scheme is expected to exhaust
the pool of unallocated addresses by 2011.


At the moment the vast majority of numerical net addresses are written in a
format specified by version 4 of the Internet Protocol (IPv4).

On 4 February the master or root servers for the net will have a small number
of records added that are written in IP version 6 (IPv6) added to them.

This means for the first time that computers using IPv6, typically a PC and a
server, can find each other without involving any IPv4 technology.


The reason for the urgency, he said, was because the unallocated addresses
from the total of 4,294,967,296 possible with IPv4 was rapidly running out.

"We're down to 14% of the unallocated addresses out of the whole pool for
version 4," he said.


Under IPv6 an effectively inexhaustible pool of addresses becomes available.




Q&A: IP Version 6
Monday, 4 February 2008

How does IPv6 help?

It helps simply because it has a vastly larger pool of unique addresses available.

The upper limit of addresses possible with IPv4 is 4,294,967,296. This seems a lot
but, for a variety of reasons, only about 14% of this total is currently unallocated.

Estimates vary about when the pool will run out but most experts believe we only
have three or four years left before the pool runs dry.

Just as phone numbers regularly need to expand to cope with growing numbers of
users so the net has to expand to cope with its growth. IPv6 is the way that
addresses get expanded.

How many addresses can IPv6 support?

The short answer is: lots. The long answer is: an unimaginably huge amount.

It has been calculated that the IPv6 address space can handle about
340 trillion, trillion, trillion addresses. That's enough for every person on the planet
to have trillions of IP addresses without any fear of that pool being exhausted.


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