As a key decision maker, you need to be aware of how IPv6 will affect your business now and in the future whether you are responsible for the technical aspects of your organisation or not.
As one of the world’s five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs), one of the RIPE NCC’s main activities is to register and distribute IPv4 and IPv6 address and Autonomous System (AS) Numbers. The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) is the organisation charged with distributing blocks of addresses to each RIR. There are around four billion unique IPv4 addresses in the global IPv4 pool and, in February 2011, the IANA allocated the last unused IPv4 address space in this pool to each of the five RIRs.
On Friday, 14 September, 2012, the RIPE NCC distributed the last blocks of IPv4 address space from its available pool. This means that it is now distributing IPv4 address space to Local Internet Registries (LIRs) from the last /8 according to section 5.6 of “IPv4 Address Allocation and Assignment Policies for the RIPE NCC Service Region“. This section states that an LIR may receive one /22 allocation (1,024 IPv4 addresses), even if they can justify a larger allocation. This /22 allocation will only be made to LIRs if they have already received an IPv6 allocation from an upstream LIR or the RIPE NCC. No new IPv4 Provider Independent (PI) space will be assigned.
Unless businesses act now to safeguard their networks, the future expansion of the Internet could be compromised. IPv6 is the next generation of IP addressing. Designed to account for the future growth of the Internet, the pool of IPv6 addresses contains 340 trillion, trillion, trillion unique addresses. This huge number of addresses is expected to accommodate the predicted growth and innovation of the Internet and Internet-related services over the coming years.
- Where can I find more information?
The IPv6 Act Now pages are a key source of information about IPv6 deployment for all stakeholders. You’ll find the latest news and developments in IPv6 technology, information about IPv4 and IPv6 distribution and much more. You can also watch interviews with leading industry experts and find contact details for consultants who can help you with your deployment plans.
- What’s the hurry?
By design, IPv4 and IPv6 cannot communicate directly with each other. Network operators will need to run IPv4 and IPv6 networks in parallel in order to ensure that all parts of the Internet remain reachable for everyone. At a certain point in the future, new networks may be available over IPv6 only as the remaining IPv4 address space in the last /8 will be eventually allocated and put into use. This requires planning and investment in time, equipment and training. New hardware and software is required to make networks ready for an IPv6-based Internet. Find out more about transitioning technologies.
- How can my technical staff get the training they need?
If your organisation is a member of the RIPE NCC, your staff can attend the RIPE NCC’s IPv6 Training Course. This course provides information on how to obtain IPv6 addresses and how to prepare your deployment plan. The course is open to all members and is covered by the membership fee.
Your staff can also attend one of the many commercial IPv6 training courses available. You can also ask a consultant specialising in IPv6 deployment for information about available courses.
- How will my customers be affected by the deployment of IPv6 in my networks?
End users of the Internet may not notice any difference when using the Internet with an IPv6 address or an IPv4 address. However, if you do not invest in IPv6 infrastructure now, in the future there may be parts of the Internet that your customers cannot reach with an IPv4 address if the destination is on an IPv6-only network.
- What needs to be done?
Network operators should ensure that their networks are IPv6 enabled and can be used by their customers to access other IPv6 networks.
Software producers should ensure that that their software is IPv6 compliant.
Hardware vendors should ensure that their products are IPv6 compatible.
Content providers should prepare networks so that they are accessible using IPv6 as well as IPv4.
- How can I get IPv6 addresses for my networks?
If you’re located in the RIPE NCC’s Service Region – Europe, the Middle East and parts of Central Asia, you can get an IPv6 address allocation from the RIPE NCC. If you are not located in these regions, you can contact one of the other RIRs.