IPv6 Transition: Key Dates, Services and Issues for the Move
State of IPv4 Address Exhaustion Around the Globe
On Sept. 14, RIPE NCC (Regional Internet Registry Network Coordination Centre), one of five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) that allocates Internet addresses, announced that it has started to hand out IPv4 addresses from the last block that it holds. This will make RIPE NCC, which allocates addresses for Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East, the second of the world's five RIRs to run out of IPv4 addresses. APNIC (Asia Pacific Network Information Centre) was the first one to run out on April 15, 2011. Moreover, the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) announced on Sept. 19 that has entered phase 2 of IPv4 countdown, with only three /8 blocks of IPv4 addresses left, or just enough to meet requests for another year. It is expected that ARIN will start handing out its last block of IPv4 addresses in August 2013. IPv4 address space is expected to start running out in Latin America in 2015 and in Africa in 2019.
The Sept. 30 deadline for the IPv6 government public-facing server transition has passed, and the U.S. government is behind, costing taxpayers down the road and inviting the potential for a network disaster. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently released results showing 58 percent of agencies had made little-to-no progress toward moving to IPv6 from IPv4. There are signs that the United States is leading the cause for IPv6 adoption, but with government agencies working with various countries lacking in IPv6 adoption, there are questions on network compatibility. One of the companies keeping a close eye on the move to IPv6 is Akamai Technologies. To date, more than 20 different government agencies have contracted with Akamai to help with the switch to IPv6 and to ensure their data and their networks are secure under the new protocol. Akamai handles more than 2 trillion Web requests a day, giving them a unique vantage point from which to assess IPv6 adoption and traffic levels. On World IPv6 Launch in June, Akamai tracked real-time traffic data, noting a 460-times increase in the number of IPv6 requests as compared to those received on IPv6 day the year prior. Additionally, Akamai charted a 67-times jump in observed IPv6 addresses. This eWEEK slide show looks at some of the issues involved in the move from IPv4 to IPv6.