What is IPv6?

Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) is the most recent version of the Internet Protocol (IP), the communications protocol that provides an identification and location system for computers on networks and routes traffic across the Internet.

IPv6 was designed during the mid-1990s when the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) realised that IPv4 address size constraints would soon be a major impediment to the continued growth of the Internet. IPv6 was first known as the Next Generation Internet Protocol (IPng) during development within the IETF. Since 1998, it has officially been known as IPv6.

The most obvious difference between IPv6 and IPv4 is the address size. IPv6 addresses comprise 128 bits, whereas IPv4 addresses comprise 32 bits. This difference results in a huge expansion in available IP address space:

  • IPv4: 232 addresses equal 4.3 billion addresses (less than the global human population of 4.7 billion).
  • IPv6: 2128 addresses. Because the last 64 bits are used to allocate addresses within a subnet, that leaves 264, which equals 18 billion subnet addresses.

Whilst IPv6 performs the same address function as IPv4, IPv6 is not backwardly compatible with IPv4. Therefore, an IP data session must use either IPv4 or IPv6 end-to-end. IPv6 and IPv4 can be used together with translation mechanisms such as Application Layer Gateways when the applications are known and supported end-to end.

tech sml

What are the benefits in general?

IPv6 is intended to replace IPv4 to deal with the issue of IPv4 address exhaustion. In the transition to IPv6, both IPv6 and IPv4 will co-exist until IPv6 eventually replaces IPv4.

The main advantage of IPv6 over IPv4 is its larger address space. The length of an IPv6 address is 128 bits, compared with 32 bits in IPv4.

In addition to offering more addresses, IPv6 also implements features not present in IPv4. It simplifies aspects of address assignment (stateless address auto configuration), network renumbering, and router announcements when changing network connectivity providers. It simplifies processing of packets in routers by placing the responsibility for packet fragmentation into the end points.

What does this mean to you?

Telstra will be able to provide you with solutions that are IPv6 ready like on our IPVPN, IPT and GID services. We can work closely with you to develop a tailored transition plan to ensure the readiness of your applications and networks for a smoother migration to IPv6. With IPv6, you will experience:

  • Dual-stack approach to seamlessly support the co-existence of IPv4 and IPv6 IP routing on the IP networks
  • Continued service availability even as IPv4 addresses run out
  • Smooth transition to IPv6 at own pace
  • Native IPv6 connectivity which provides better performance than IPv6 tunnels
  • Essentially unlimited Internet addressing
  • Improved privacy and security (IPv6 supports extensions for authentication and data integrity, which enhance privacy and security)
  • No hard cut-over for customers and continuing support for customer IPv4 address-based IP routing
  • Continued IPv4 and IPv6 support for IP network’s auxiliary services such as DNS services

How should your business transit to IPv6?

If you are interested on our IPv6 platform, you can reach out to your Account Manager to discuss the requirement and plan the transition from your IPv4 addressing to IPv6.

meeting sml

Our consultants will then work with you to:

  • Understand the business requirements, the impact of IPv6 on your infrastructure and the scope of your IPv6 transition.
  • Evaluate IPv6 readiness of the following aspects of IT infrastructure:
    • Areas of your network for IPv6 migration.
    • Servers and systems that can host and run applications smoothly as well as connect to an IPv6-enabled network.
    • To ensure seamless access to your IT application and business continuity.
  • Chart a road-map for the IPv6 transition.

Our strategy for IPv6 is based on the dual-stack approach, allowing both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses to co-exist until the transition to IPv6 is complete. This approach will make sure that the transition occurs with minimal impact on your business – you are not forced to move to IPv6 overnight and can deploy and migrate to IPv6 when you are ready.