Certainly, you, internet provider, have heard of IPv4 protocols and, mainly, IPv6, since this is a subject that has been spreading more and more on the internet. But what do these acronyms mean, and how do they affect your business? And your users?
The whole world is undergoing a migration process from the IPv4 protocol to IPv6. The former is no longer able to support the needs of the current internet market. Several providers do not even find blocks of IPv4 protocols to offer to their customers.
In this article, you will understand these protocols better and why migration is important. Follow us!
What is IP?
First, we must know what the acronym IP is. Internet Protocol (IP) is an address used to identify a device connected to the network. All-access to websites, games, and applications connected to the internet make use of this address to communicate and exchange information. This address is composed of a number of bits that generate a value (a number) that identifies it, and that must be unique in the entire network.
To have access to these numbers of protocols, providers need to request from the organizations responsible for distribution. The problem is that there are no more IPv4 protocols available for distribution, and whoever has some blocks of this protocol is having to reuse the numbers, causing more than one client to use the same address.
Thus, IPv6 was created to serve all users who use IPv6 and the new ones that are yet to appear. Understand better about the following subject.
What are the IPv4 and IPv6 protocols?
The IPv4 protocol is the standard by which the internet works since its creation and means Internet Protocol version 4, that is, the fourth version of the system. IPv4 has 32-bit addresses and supports approximately 4 billion combinations of IP addresses worldwide.
IPV4 was created in the 1970s, a time when the internet had not been thought to be what it is today. The goal was to connect colleges and organizations to exchange information. They did not imagine that everyone in the world could connect different devices to the internet network. As it is today, IPv4 is limiting the growth of the internet. If you have a large stock of IPv4 addresses, you can monetize them. IP monetization is getting more and more popular lately due to the fact that many individuals and companies need IPv4 for their business. For information, the best place to monetize your IPv4 addresses is IPXO, a platform that bridges IPv4 addresses owners and buyers.
Therefore, providers need to migrate to IPv6: the previous version no longer supports global internet demand. With more and more people and gadgets connected, there is no way to continue with this number of combinations. When IPV6 is widely implemented, IPV4 will become a legacy protocol. In other words, it will be maintained just in case someone needs to access a very old system, which for some reason did not migrate to IPV6.
IPv6 is the sixth revision of the protocols and also the successor to IPv4, operating in 128 bits. This means that this system supports around 340 undecillions of addresses, a number much higher than the current 4 billion IPv4. In addition, IPv6 corrects some IPv4 mechanisms, such as IP Security, which now provides encryption functionality and packages that guarantee authenticity, integrity, and confidentiality. But this does not mean that IPv4 is not secure since firewalls and other well-implemented security devices are available).
Impact on providers
IPv6 was proposed as early as 1998, but it is only now being rolled out more widely. Therefore, for some years, IPv6 has been in the test, replacing its predecessor, but both still work simultaneously. It is also not known how long it will take for IPv4 to be completely replaced, but the fact is that providers that work with this protocol need not worry at the moment. Even the latest equipment is compatible with the new protocol. Old, non-compatible equipment will eventually need to be replaced.
The biggest problem that providers face today is the lack of available IPv4 protocols. With that, they end up using a single protocol number for different clients and using the NAT protocol to make a redistribution. Some providers even use CGNAT (two layers of NAT) to do the distribution. The biggest problem with this strategy is that it can impair the equipment’s communication, preventing the service from functioning properly.
How will be the migration from IPv4 to IPv6
The migration process will be very simple and without impact for the providers. All ONUs already have both protocols, so it is possible to communicate between different points, with an IPv4 source address and an IPv6 destination address or vice versa. Providers that are up to date with the IPv6 protocol can activate IPv4 to communicate with points that communicate only with that protocol. Who still uses IPv4 can also activate IPv6 to communicate with both protocols. Providers should continue to use both protocols until all points are communicating only with the IPv6 protocol. At that time, IPv4 will be turned off, remaining only as a legacy.
End users and other segments
End users can also rest assured. The new operating systems for both computers and mobile devices already have IPv6. Perhaps, later on, routers need to be replaced, but there is still no prediction of when, as we talked about above. However, customers of smaller providers will have a better service, as they will no longer have to share their protocols with other customers. This will make the connection between the devices much faster and flawless. However, little will be perceived by the customer in this regard.
Since customers do not have technical information about the processes, when an operational failure occurs, the consumer cannot identify what motivated the failure. You will only see that the contracted service has greater quality and stability.
The biggest beneficiaries will be the providers, who will be able to serve their customers with simpler, more agile, and efficient processes. Other segments affected by this change in protocols, in addition to telecommunications providers, are content, application, and service providers, for example: hosting servers, websites, e-mail providers, e-commerce, banking, and government.
Were you able to understand what IPv6 is? Are you ready for the migration or still have doubts about how it will happen and what you need to do to prepare?