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Migration to IPv6

The growth of internet usage globally has led to the demand for more addresses, increased performance and reliability as well as improved security.  The Internet and Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) networks have gained high popularity because initially, an internet was majorly used for file transfer, mailing, and remote access, by use of TELNET service. Internet users have advanced into converting the internet environment majorly for applications and multimedia, and for such reason, the demand for the worldwide web have highly increased. Such massive developments have proved the fact that the internet protocol version four (IPv4) is not capable of fulfilling the demands (such as performance and other functional requirements) of the internet users, and therefore, this situation led to the development of IPv6.

The major role of the IPv6 is to provide more space for the address field since the IPv4, which was characterized by thirty-two bits address field was not adequate to meet the addressing requirements for the internet users. Different from the IPv4, IPv6 address contains 128-bits, allowing it to contain unlimited unique IP addresses for every network hosts’ interface (Lee & Mun, 2005).

Ipv6 has proved to minimize the workload that IPv4 addresses place upon the router during processing. In IPv6, the packet header fields are fewer than in IPv4 and the optional headers contained in the IPv6 are not usually examined by the router, and therefore it will easily and efficiently process the packets. Also, due to the fixed-length nature of the IPv6 header, the processing time and effort is greatly minimized. The IPv4 address does not also require packet fragmentation, unlike IPV4 and therefore the overall performance of the system gets improved.

Due to the large address space for IPV6, the attackers have been facing difficulties in scanning the addresses. Also, the IPv6 has proved to be more secure than IPv4 in enhancing authentication and confidentiality. Since IPSec is attached to IPv6, it can provide security to traffic regardless of the applications installed on host devices. Besides, the IPv6 development has greatly been seen as an advantage to the network administrators by reducing their workload. Unlike IPv4, IPv6 devices do not require manual configuration during IP assignment or device numbering, since when you connect IPv6 device to another similar device, they will automatically configure themselves.

According to my personal view, IPv6 is better than the former IPv6. The idea of migrating to IPv6 is suitable because IPv6 has promised improved security, effortless administration and more importantly an improved addressing scheme, unlike the current IPv4 protocol. By using IPv6 (containing 128 bits) scheme, organizations can add unlimited host devices to their networks as compared to the 32-bit addressing scheme of the IPv4, which is limited to few billion networks (Philcox, 2003).

Based on RTI research, they approximated that all the stakeholders would incur about twenty-five billion dollars to facilitate the transition to IPv6 between the year 1997 to 2025. Also, they stated that the Internet Service Providers would spend a hundred and thirty-six million while the end-users would spend about twenty-three billion of the amounts. These reports are subject to change simply because the RIT found out that I.S users fear to incur the costs because the ROI is not clear to them. As from the report, the users will incur the highest cost, as compared to all others (Siil, 2008). Some stakeholders seem to have participated in bearing the costs such as the vendors. Most devices nowadays have IPv6 attached, such as mobile phones. This cost of migrating to IPv6 is so much higher than expected. But because IPv6 has more advantages than IPv4, if all the stakeholders agree on migrating to the IPV6 addressing scheme, then it will be cheaper. Also, if more people get connected to the internet, especially the third world countries, then it will be cheaper.

a graph showing estimated cost on variouspeople

Ipv6 has proved to be worth the efforts is no many ways, as discussed in its advantages. Migration to IPv6 means that our networks will be me more secure than ever, and the network administrators will not have tedious work in networking tasks such as the troubleshooting. Additionally, the network performance will be higher. All such advantages are far better than those of IPv4 (Membrey, Hows & Plugge, 2012).

References

Lee, H. K., & Mun, Y. (2005). Understanding IPv6. New York: Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.

Membrey, P., Hows, D., & Plugge, E. (2012). Practical load balancing: Ride the performance tiger. Berkeley, CA: Apress. Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books?isbn=1430236817

Philcox, J. (2003). Solaris 9 network administrator: [exam CX-310-044]. (Solaris 9 network administrator.) Indianapolis, Ind: Que.

Siil, K. A. (2008). IPv6 mandates: Choosing a transition strategy, preparing transition plans, and executing the migration of a network to IPv6. Indianapolis, IN: Wiley. Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0470191198



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