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Is IPv6 Key to Seamless Communication?

IPv4, the most widely deployed Internet layer protocol, is running out of space. This is not an opinion, but a fact. Several forecasts see 2011 as the year during which IPv4 space address will be depleted.

Although the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), responsible for the global coordination of IP addressing (and much more), is providing guidelines on how to allocate the remaining v4 space addresses and start with IPv6 soon, it seems current interest in massive IPv6 deployment is not huge.

Key players in the information, communication and, technology (ICT) market (I mean all equipment vendors and telecom operators) are delaying the deployment of the new technology and have said this is a prudent and pragmatic approach; as of today, real business plans to support decision makers in v6 migration doesn’t exist, they contend.

In their opinion, the financial benefits of v6 delivery have not been proven, because of a lack of native v6 applications or services. This implies we will continue with the status quo of v4 exhaustion with the hope that some new guidelines will emerge one minute before the “X-day” — which would once again postpone the inevitable and establish a new deadline. This attitude is unsurprising. For some time, Internet experts and companies have talked about v6, but the transition towards the new protocol has been extremely weak.

Maybe we need a different approach. Instead of looking for a killer application from the industry to trigger and speed-up v6 deployment, we should perhaps explore the design and delivery of “seamless networks” that can carry out in a pervasive manner IP protocol allocation without limitations on the number of connected devices. This would also afford the industry the opportunity to directly provide a full IP interaction between real-world sensors and IP network nodes.

There are other reasons for urging the industry to accelerate the deployment of v6. In December, many parts of the globe were hit by severe winter conditions in Europe and North America. Ice storms and low temperatures led to the closure of several airports and halted other forms of public transportation. In Asia, fears about another tsunami have increased due to earthquakes in the middle of the ocean.

Scientists in these regions believe vast sensor networks can help in organizing adequate responses to these natural occurrences. I personally experienced flight cancellations in Europe and saw first-hand the limitations of our current technology support systems. Inside airports, the high concentration of people waiting for new flights strained communication connections — wireless and wired.

Internet portals were heavily congested, and service providers explained this was not only a matter of bandwidth but also because systems devoted to translating private IPs inside the airport towards Internet public range were overloaded and out of their reserved NAT (network address translation) range.

This congestion could have been avoided with the use of IP sensors that can collect, in near real time, parameters related to the number of people in a hall, energy consumption, number of mobile handsets, humidity, and temperature — and then automatically negotiate with hotspot switches/routers, on-demand connections, bandwidth, and whatever systems are devoted to Internet services.

This is the role of micro IPv6. Its ability to operate with very small resources (8- or 16-bit microcontrollers) represents the “adhesive” between real-world occurrences and global network capabilities. Thanks to the “unlimited” addresses IPv6 is bringing to the field, more applications can be deployed without a hitch.

We are not dreaming. {complink 3900|NTT Communications Corp.}, the first telecom provider providing an IPv6 access network and operating the world's largest IPv6 backbone, has supported the Japanese Meteorological Agency in detecting earthquakes and helped in saving lives in the region with the use of thousands of sensors that generate warnings to people via IPv6 multicast.

PeoplePower Company, a startup in Palo Alto, Calif., has developed an innovative operating system called OSIAN, or Open Source IPv6 Automation Network, as a fundamental block to build low-cost, low-power, IPv6-ready sensors, supporting also WiFi and Zigbee — all-in-one. According to One World Inc., this market could be worth several billions in terms of products and services within a few years, and the trend should be strongly upward. In 2011, micro IPv6 could deliver “seamless” communication.

18 comments on “Is IPv6 Key to Seamless Communication?

  1. SP
    January 13, 2011

    I would wonder why there is an hesitation to upgrade to ipv6. Is it that it could add extra cost or is that it would add more work to upgrade?

  2. itguyphil
    January 13, 2011

    SP,

    I think, much like any major technological change, there is hesitation because it is something new to learn. More importantly, you must understand it in order to get it operational. Could you imagine if administrators everywhere were forced to migrate their networks to v6 right away. They would panic becasue today it works fine, tomorrow no one can access any resources. With time and more experience, the change will take place, but it will be more manageable.

  3. mfbertozzi
    January 14, 2011

    Right, in fact major challenge is to guarantee full interworking v4/v6 and in parallel introduce step-by-step new services as mentioned. A few mobile providers in USA for example are experiencing that way.

  4. ebabbo
    January 15, 2011

    Very interesting article, the possibility to integrate IPstack directly inside “real-world” microchip could improve a lot our business within electronic industry. Other way in progress thanks to strong mobile handsets' evolution is to interwork with them directly via v6. Services launched past summer from T-Mob are very useful.

  5. prabhakar_deosthali
    January 15, 2011

    In my opinion if a company comes out with a product that can camaflauge an existing IPV4 devices or networks as IPV6 compatible devices then the migration to IPv6 can happen at a much faster pace. The newly developed devices can be made directly compatible to IPV6. It is like reading Word97 documents in say Word2007.

    It may not be an efficient approach but it can save all those old investments from becoimg obsolete all of a sudden.

     

  6. I&E
    January 15, 2011

    Prabhakar, it is realistic and pragmatic approach. We can report for example, without any installation or upgrade inside our network or application servers, thanks to virtual free tunnel from a ISP provider we can access to v4 and v6 Internet sections.
    We have resolved the limitations to IP range assigned and electronic sensors “pump” directly info on-line. It's fantastic !

  7. Laurie Sullivan
    January 15, 2011

    Google, Yahoo, and Facebook will join Akamai, Limelight Networks and the Internet Society to test IPv6 on June 8. How silly of me not to take this question to the EBNOnline community. What influence will IPv6 have on online advertising?  I received a bunch of typical answers from the companies participating, but I know there is more. Can anyone provide insight other than IPv6 will continue to allow Internet connected devices to connect online, so advertisers and ad networks can serve up ads. 

    Laurie

     


  8. I&E
    January 15, 2011

    Laurie, several key features inside v6 stack could start new era on ads or in media communication in general. Let us mention multicast and peering, not fully available on v4 and “killer” in terms of possibility to reach everyone abroad, despite physical network connection (v4 is sensitive to packet frame's lenght, strictly related to physical medium). Junaid Islam, one of the most important entrepreneurs in SiliconValley, explained very well at

    [https://it-gipfelblog.hpi-web.de/tag/ipv6] – bottom page

    new media (or “webcasting”) era.

    There's a lot to tell more, rgds, I&E

     

  9. Laurie Sullivan
    January 15, 2011

    I've been told by the Internet Society and Google there will be an extra cost for those companies that don't upgrade to IPv6. Google makes the majority of its revenue and profit on online advertising, from traditional computers to IPTV and mobile. What influence will IPv6 have on online advertising? 

  10. Laurie Sullivan
    January 15, 2011

    I&E – thanks for directing me to the video. How would advertisers use this? Can you provide an example? Much appreciated. I can see how brands may use this, but do you have an application for advertisers?  How would advertisers take advantage of this in search applications?

  11. I&E
    January 16, 2011

    @Laurie: thanks for replying. Just to understand better: are you meaning ads as “form of communication intended to persuade an audience to take some action upon something”? right?

  12. Laurie Sullivan
    January 16, 2011

    ads as in display advertising from Toyota, Texas Instruments or Apple that tries to persuade you to buy something. The box on the right side of an online article at Time.com, for example. 

    http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2042710,00.html

    Or search advertising, the little blue text links on the right side of search queries on Google.com or Bing.com.

     

     

  13. t.alex
    January 16, 2011

    We have heard about IPV6 for such a long time and now it seems IPV4 is still at large. The use of private network (i.e. go to internet via NAT) is widespread nowadays. Isn't it less secure with IPV6 when your computer is exposed directly to the internet?


  14. ebabbo
    January 16, 2011

    Right t.alex, anyway final depletion has come

    http://www.ipv4depletion.com/?p=557

    There is an interesting thing: last big ranges available have been allocated to China Operators

  15. I&E
    January 17, 2011

    Benefits for ads from v6 impact are a lot. Ads are quite static, for example right now box advertisment from the website Laurie reported, is promoting gasoline, but I am not a user interested in the topic and I don't have any possibility to watch something different inside the box. Ads quite usually are one-way.

    As the article reported main purpose of v6 is to allow a real chain between real world an communication. Internet-v6 is becoming “Internet of things” in the sense of real events all in one integrated with IPstack.

    Then, holding same example from Matteo's article, v6 could allow users to receive ads just in time based on weather condition and so. At the time of strong weather condition in US for example, does anynone receive ads on his mobile regarding accomodation promotions, hot drink promotions, emergency services? Or is anyone in condition to share within users community in real time and in peering manner ads suitable for him while a streaming is coming?

    IPv6 brings mobileIP, peering and multicast (instead of broadcast, there's huge difference!) and these features (and others more) could improve a lot advertisers world. @ Laurie: sorry for general examples (but we believe they are quite clear), our understanding is to be fair and keep “netiquette”, for that we didn't mention our own platform/services in pilot.

     

  16. Matteo Bertozzi
    January 18, 2011

    Thanks for all posts, questions and opinion. In the following I will trying to summarize some answers and opinions more, at least from my point of view.

    v4/v6 interworking: several methods and implementations are available right now and feedback from users are quite positive. Gogo6 for example provides full solutions to test and feel that interworks

    security: v6 brings automatically secure mechanism and it doesn't need EXTERNAL boxes to support vpn, encryption and other algorithm deployed within current v4 architecture

    v4 under v6: NAT64 implementations (and its reverse) and overlays are providing exactly those features

    deployment: as from your posts, I am with you; transition requires right knowledge and time plan but…it requires also to start in facing the event because of v4 address range will be away in some weeks

    ads: yes, v6 as “internet of things” maybe will bring consistent impacts on ads then huge business for that market in case advertisers will be in condition to mix features such as multicasting, peering and sensoring to improve their platforms

    seamless: it is a topic similar to ads (Internet “of things” all integrated directly to IPstack) potential market is “tremendous” in terms of features to deploy and revenues to achieve; green, home control, services to citizens and so on could play as main drivers

    Comments are still welcome, rgds, Matteo

  17. Laurie Sullivan
    January 18, 2011

    Hello Matteo:  I have an ad agency exec who has this question: 

    “SO–will this finally collect and merge IP addresses from one screen to the other (IE: mobile device to computer)? If so, then this will dramatically revolutionize the attribution of mobile advertising–allowing us to tie together ads someone sees on their mobile device to actions they take on their computer. Please say yes.”

    Best, Laurie

  18. Matteo Bertozzi
    January 18, 2011

    Thanks Laurie, we can give for sure “Internet of real things” will provide that merge and something more…;-)

    All the best and thanks again for sharing your thoughts

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