Nibbles & Bits

How Big is IPv6, Really? (Video)

by | January 11, 2019

First – some context: I was preparing a presentation on IPv6 for Silicon Valley DevOps Days a couple of months ago, and looked around for visualizations to show the scale of IPv6 in comparison to IPv4. IPv4 isn’t going anywhere, but the reality is that dual stack networks are the future. That means IPv4 and IPv6 living in harmony. But how do we get there when IPv4 has ~4.2B IPs and IPv6 brings…more? (340 undecillion – a number followed by 36 zeros). So since we didn’t find any helpful visualizations, we went ahead and made one.

You may have seen the headlines that the Internet has run out of IPv4 addresses. Yesterday we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the public accessibility to the World Wide Wide, which statistics showing us just how enormous the Internet truly is. There are 1.07 billion websites and 4.73 billion web pages. And while the Internet is more than just the World Wide Web, there are 3.4 billion people on the internet. By 2020, there will be an estimated 50 billion connected devices as part of the Internet of Things.

According to John Curran, president and chief executive of ARIN,

“[IPv4 has] been in place for more than 30 years, “and even the architects of the Internet could not have predicted the amazing success and universal adoption of the Internet and World Wide Web.”

There are many misconceptions about IPv4 to IPv6 migration, and the protocols themselves.

IPv4 (Internet Protocol Version 4) is the fourth revision of the Internet Protocol (IP) used to to identify devices on a network through an addressing system. It is the most widely deployed Internet protocol used to connect devices to the Internet. IPv4 uses a 32-bit address scheme allowing for a total of 2^32 addresses (just over 4 billion addresses).

IPv6 is the newest version of the Internet Protocol (IP) reviewed in the IETF standards committees to replace the current version of IPv4 (Internet Protocol Version 4). IPv6, often referred to as the “next generation” Internet standard, was created out of concern that the demand for IP addresses would exceed the available supply.

There are 3.4×10^38 or 340 undecillion IPv6 addresses. These 128-bit IP addresses are written in hexadecimal and separated by colons. An example IPv6 address could be written like this: 3ffe:1900:4545:3:200:f8ff:fe21:67cf

The best part? These protocols can coexist – so it’s not like closing one door and opening another, it’s about managing the same network, but with an additional protocol traversing the same infrastructure.

“We decided to move our rather complex IP address and DHCP management process to ProVision and it has worked out great for us!! The team at 6connect were very flexible and went above and beyond to accommodate our requirements and helped to make the migration as smooth and hitch free as possible. Kudos to the team @ 6connect!”

Premkumar Subramaniam
Head of R&D

“We are excited to be partnering with 6connect to leverage their technology and talent. We particularly admire their long-standing IPv6 contributions and their ability to service and support customers in this area, some who are the largest service provider in the world. The 6connect executive leadership team and technical team are great to work with and we look forward to many partnered projects to help customers address their Cloud, IoT and Security needs with IPv6. Automation, workflow and orchestration are critical to the success of most of these projects and 6connect is well positioned to help our mutual customers in those areas.”

Ed Horley
Co-Founder & CEO

“Enterprises can struggle managing purposefully segmented DDI architectures with any agility. Our partnership with 6connect empowers customers with complex infrastructures to move faster to service the business while consolidating visibility and control over their estate.”

Andrew Wertkin
Chief Strategy Officer,

“6connect’s approach to automation addresses quite a few challenges with physical and virtual networks – how to improve the agility of your current network infrastructure without sacrificing reliability and adoption of future network technologies.”

Pär Lange
Investment Director

“A customer is looking for an integrated solution from a single vendor for both IPAM and DNS. Through the 6connect reseller program, Secure64 is able to offer the most secure DNS solutions married to a unique combination of IPAM and resource provisioning that customers want. It’s a marriage made in heaven.”

Mark Beckett
VP of Marketing

“A huge benefit of working with the 6connect team is that they devoted a lot of resources to get our products integrated so we had the turnkey solution that we could take to market. It was very easy to work with their team to get product integrated and successfully launched.”

Mark Beckett
VP of Marketing

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