Routing and Switching Technology

Migration from IPv4 to IPv6


Migration from IPv4 to IPv6

February 15, 2019

By: Tuan Nguyen

Downloadable PDF: Migration from IPv4 to IPv6


The present model of the Web Protocol IPv4 initially developed within the 1970’s and formally revealed in 1981 (RFC 791) severed its function till the early 1990’s. By 1992, Web enlargement and the uptake of handle area uncovered limitations as to the variety of precise handle areas that may be out there with the rise variety of units being added to the world broad net, pushing the IPv4 normal to its threshold. As these limitations have been acknowledged modifications have been initiated by the Web Engineering Process Drive (IETF) in 1994 for an improve to IPv6 (RFC 2460). At present IPv6 community penetration is low, nevertheless it’s anticipated to develop, as IPv4 depletion is eminent.


Because the variety of interconnect computer systems, the cloud, use of BYODs and different units develop dramatically, the necessity for change will drive service suppliers to make the change. The distinction between IPv4 and IPv6 is within the handle format the place IPv4 use 32 bit (four bytes) tackle whereas IPv6 makes use of 128 bit (16 bytes). IPv6 permits for for much longer tackle(s) so it’s attainable to technically overcome the IPv4 handle depletion points and embrace service options with out rewriting the protocol.


One of many causes for sluggish motion to IPv6 is the price of migration to the brand new format with no instant income change for the improve. Nevertheless, that is brief sighted because the depletion of handle areas and the arrival of extra web units, and the expansion of the cloud, service suppliers who don’t migrate are going to seek out it troublesome to effectively service the upper demand positioned on their networks. IPv6 has inbuilt security measures, stronger circulate management and simpler authentication performance. Briefly, IPv6 is the longer term and holds the promise of end-to finish safety, QOS and simplified administration whereas growing the networks capability to service extra customers.


Prime 10 Options that make IPv6 “higher” than IPv4

#1 – IPv6 offers a considerably bigger IP handle area than IPv4

Each pc or on-line system that wants to hook up with the Web requires a globally distinctive IP tackle. IPv4 makes use of 32 bits for an IP tackle that permits about four billion distinctive IP addresses. When IPv4 was launched within the 1970s and accepted because the protocol for the Web, they didn’t foresee this explosion within the reputation of the Web or the extent to which on-line applied sciences would grow to be all pervasive. It was subsequently firmly believed that these four billion addresses can be enough to cowl any future progress of the Web.



IPv6 makes use of 128 bits for IPv6 addresses which permits for 340 billion billion billion billion (three.four×1038) distinctive addresses. To get an concept of the size concerned, think about all the IPv4 area as being contained in an iPod, then the brand new IPv6 area can be the dimensions of the Earth. From these numbers, it may be seen that with IPv6, it’s attainable to offer billions of addresses to every individual and be sure that any system that needs to be related to the Web could have a singular IP tackle.


The primary benefit of an enhanced tackle area is that within the absence of NAT, there’s much less complexity within the community hardware and software program, and configuring a community turns into a lot easier. Secondly, it makes it potential to really envisage a networked residence whereby the totally different devices and home equipment can be on the community which might require that every such gadget have a singular IP tackle. Lastly, the massive availability of IP addresses removes any obstacles that existed beforehand within the full deployment of wi-fi and cellular units.


#2 – Ipv6 offers higher end-to-end connectivity than IPv4

Probably the most thrilling purposes to emerge in current days are peer-to-peer purposes corresponding to multi-player on-line video games, video-conferencing (streaming media), file sharing and VoIP. In peer-to-peer networking, a gaggle of computer systems can talk immediately with one another and don’t want a central server. Peer-to-peer purposes demand end-to-end connections between distinctive IP addresses.


IPv6 with its giant handle area not requires NAT and may guarantee true end-to-end connectivity. This implies peer-to-peer purposes like VoIP or streaming media can work very successfully and effectively with IPv6.


#three – Ipv6 has higher capacity for autoconfiguring units than IPv4

Each time a node plugs in and needs to be a part of a community, IP handle info and router info is required to correctly configure the node and get it operating. Prior to now, when there have been fewer units and computer systems in a community operating IP, virtually all of them have been statically configured and IP addresses have been manually assigned. Nevertheless, with the speedy proliferation of private computer systems (PC) and different IP-enabled units, for environment friendly system administration and reusing of assets, it turned completely important to think about some type of autoconfiguration.


IPv4 makes use of the stateful tackle autoconfiguration protocol, Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). Within the stateful autoconfiguration mannequin, a number obtains the interface addresses in addition to different required info such because the configuration info and parameters from a server. The DHCP server maintains a manually administered record of hosts and retains monitor of which addresses have been assigned to which hosts.


IPv6 provides automated configuration and extra importantly, easy configuration mechanisms. Generally known as plug-and-play autoconfiguration, these capabilities are means past what IPv4 presently presents. IPv6 provides DHCPv6, which is an autoconfiguration just like IPv4 DHCP and presents stateful handle autoconfiguration. As well as, IPv6 additionally presents stateless or serverless tackle autoconfiguration.


In stateless autoconfiguration, a number can mechanically configure its personal IPv6 handle and doesn’t want any help from a stateful handle server. Whole IPv6 prefixes slightly than simply an tackle are delivered to a tool. This specific function allows routers to simply autoconfigure their interfaces and can be utilized very successfully in broadband entry networks to dynamically present buyer gateways.


#four – Ipv6 accommodates simplified Header Buildings resulting in quicker routing as in comparison with IPv4

The current IP makes use of a Datagram service to switch packets of knowledge between level to level utilizing routers. The IPv4 packet header construction accommodates 20 bytes of knowledge, such that it accommodates inside the header, all attainable choices thereby forcing intermediate routers to verify whether or not these choices exist and in the event that they do, course of them earlier than forwarding them. Within the IPv4 packet header, these choices have a sure most permitted measurement.


When in comparison with IPv4, IPv6 has a a lot easier packet header construction, which is actually designed to attenuate the time and efforts that go in to header processing. This has been achieved by shifting the non-compulsory fields in addition to the nonessential fields to the extension headers which are positioned solely after the IPv6 header. Consequently, the IPv6 headers are processed extra effectively on the intermediate routers with out having to parse by way of headers or recompute network-layer checksums and even fragment and reassemble packets. This effectivity permits for lowered processing overhead for routers, making hardware much less complicated and permitting for packets to be processed a lot quicker.


One other function of the IPv6 header construction is that the extension header permits for extra versatile protocol inclusions than what IPv4 does. In distinction, IPv6 extension headers haven’t any such restriction on the utmost measurement. They are often expanded to accommodate no matter extension knowledge is assumed vital for environment friendly IPv6 communication. In truth, a typical IPv6 packet accommodates no extension header and provided that intermediate routers or the vacation spot require some particular dealing with, will the host sending the packets add a number of extension headers relying on the requirement. This new extension header makes IPv6 absolutely outfitted to help any future want or capabilities.


#5 – Ipv6 supplies higher safety than IPv4 for purposes and networks

The Web has functioned for the final three many years with IPv4 because the underlying protocol. Nevertheless, due to this end-to-end mannequin, IPv4 was designed with virtually no safety in thoughts and assumes that the required safety shall be offered on the finish nodes. For instance, think about an software reminiscent of e mail which will require encryption providers – beneath IPv4, it’s the duty of the e-mail shopper on the finish nodes to offer these providers. At present, the Web faces threats akin to Denial of Service Assaults, Malicious code distribution, Man-in-the-middle assaults, Fragmentation assaults and Reconnaissance assaults.


In IPv6, IPSec is a serious protocol requirement and is among the elements in making certain that IPv6 offers higher safety than IPv4.


IPSec accommodates a set of cryptographic protocols for making certain safe knowledge communication and key change. The primary protocols used are:

  • Authentication Header (AH) protocol, which allows authentication and integrity of knowledge.
  • Encapsulating Safety Payload (ESP) protocol, which allows each authentication and integrity of knowledge in addition to privateness of knowledge.
  • Web Key Trade (IKE) protocol. This protocol suite helps to initially arrange and negotiate the safety parameters between two finish factors. It then additionally retains monitor of this info in order that the communication stays safe until the top.

Thus, IPv6 ensures that there are end-to-end safety mechanisms that may present authentication and encryption talents to all purposes and thereby eliminates the necessity for purposes themselves to have built-in help for such talents. The additional advantage of utilizing the identical safety mechanisms for all purposes is that establishing and administering safety insurance policies turns into lots easier. IPv6 permits for full end-to-end safety thereby permitting for a brand new set of personalised providers to be deployed comparable to cellular e-commerce providers that depend on safe transactions.


#6 – Ipv6 provides higher High quality of Service (QoS) than IPv4

The current IP makes use of a Datagram service to switch packets of knowledge between level to level utilizing routers. The IPv4 packet header construction accommodates 20 bytes of knowledge, such that it incorporates inside the header, all potential choices thereby forcing intermediate routers to verify whether or not these choices exist and in the event that they do, course of them earlier than forwarding them. Within the IPv4 packet header, these choices have a sure most permitted measurement.


QoS is given a particular increase within the IPv6 protocol with the IPv6 header containing a brand new area, referred to as Circulate Label subject that defines how specific packets are recognized and dealt with by the routers. The Stream Label area permits packets that belong to a specific circulate, in different phrases, that begin from a specific host and head to a specific vacation spot, to be recognized and dealt with shortly and effectively by the routers.


The Movement Label Area thus ensures that there’s extra environment friendly supply of data from one finish to a different with out the potential for it being modified by intermediate techniques. This ensures a excessive diploma of QoS particularly for peer-to-peer purposes like VoIP and different real-time purposes.


#7 – Ipv6 supplies higher Multicast and Anycast talents in comparison with IPv4

In a multicast method a packet is copied from one stage down to a different in a hierarchical tree-like construction, as an alternative of sending it from the supply immediately. Because of this there are fewer packets within the community thereby optimizing bandwidth utilization and in addition decreasing the assets required at every community node. This multicast method is especially helpful when streams of data need to be made out there to all kinds of related units and never only one single vacation spot. For instance multicast method is used to relay audio knowledge, video knowledge, information feeds, and monetary knowledge feeds and so forth.


IPv6 extends the multicasting capabilities of IPv4 by providing a big multicast tackle vary. Clearly, this limits the diploma to which the knowledge packets have now to be propagated and considerably improves the community effectivity.


IPv6 additionally improves dramatically on the idea of anycast providers, which is out there, although in a really minimal type in IPv4. In anycast providers, packets aren’t despatched to all of the nodes within the community however solely to the closest reachable member. A typical software the place anycast can be of large use is say, whereas discovering a server of a given sort e.g. a DNS server, amongst a gaggle of servers. It can additionally present redundant paths to different servers in order that if for some purpose, the path to the first server turns into unavailable, within the subsequent session, a connection shall be offered to the subsequent server within the group.


#eight – Ipv6 presents higher mobility options than IPv4

Once we contemplate IP mobility options we’re primarily contemplating options that may be helpful for:

  • Cellular units, which may change their location however want to retain present connections.
  • Cellular networks that present mobility to a gaggle of units.
  • Advert-hoc networking during which a few of the dives keep related to the community or within the neighborhood of the community just for the brief period of a communications session.

When a cellular node shouldn’t be at residence, it conveys details about its current location, additionally referred to as, care-of-address to the house agent. Now if a node needs to speak with this cellular mode, it should first ship the knowledge packets to the house tackle. The house agent receives these packets and utilizing a desk, sends these packets to the care-of-address of the cellular node.


With IPv6, mobility help is obligatory by means of Cellular IPv6 (MIPv6). Route optimization is a built-in function for cellular IPv6. Additional, options like Neighbor Discovery and Tackle Auto-configuration permit cellular nodes to perform in any location while not having the providers of any particular router.


MIPv6 can be utilized to realize seamless mobility by permitting handovers between totally different entry applied sciences say from instance from a mobile community to a wi-fi community, with minimal interruption to ongoing connections. There isn’t any ingress-filtering drawback in Cellular IPv6 as a result of the correspondent node makes use of the care-of tackle because the supply handle.


These units more and more demand supply of converged voice, video and knowledge, which is made attainable via a normal referred to as the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) normal. Nevertheless IMS requires that every cellular system have a singular IP handle, which is a persistent IP handle with a view to guarantee full bi-directional providers.


IPv6 via its giant handle area ensures that every cellular system can have its personal distinctive IP tackle. Additional, Cellular IPv6 makes use of the extension headers so as to add highly effective capabilities corresponding to route optimizations between cellular nodes, when roaming between totally different 3G networks.


#9 – Ipv6 gives ease of administration over IPv4

When an present community is to be expanded or two networks to be merged, or when service suppliers are modified, a community must be renumbered, as a brand new tackle scheme can be assigned to it.


IPv6 offers capabilities in order that community renumbering can occur routinely. Thus, community renumbering with IPv6 will not requires guide reconfiguration of every host and router and makes for smoother switchovers or mergers.


One other helpful administrative function of IPv6 is its multihoming method. On this simultaneous connections are established to 2 ISPS. When service to at least one ISP is misplaced, there’s a back-up connection to the Web. This ensures far larger reliability of providers, as there’s multiple path from the host to the vacation spot.


#10 – Ipv6 follows the important thing design rules of IPv4, thereby allowing a clean transition from IPv4

IPv4 has been efficiently deployed the world over for a few years now and its reputation is a testomony to the success of its design. IPv6 follows most of the similar design options that made IPv4 so profitable. This makes it potential to have a clean transition from IPv4 to IPv6. There are numerous commercially engaging purposes out there right now that require IPv6 and should tempt many to go in for a speedy transition to IPv6. Nevertheless, IPv4 purposes might be used for a while to return and the method of transition from IPv4 to IPv6 have to be a gradual one.


A profitable IPv4 to IPv6 transition mechanism is one through which IPv6 parts are included into the community whereas on the similar time compatibility is maintained with the pre-existing, giant base of IPv4 hosts and routers. Thus, for a while to return, IPv6 hosts and routers should work together and performance with the prevailing IPv4 community infrastructure.


Various such transition mechanisms have been outlined that permit for the 2 networks to co-exist until such a time that a full migration to IPv6 just isn’t possible.


Utilizing Twin IPv4/IPv6 Stack implementations resembling Tunneling, Twin IPstack Utilizing Community Handle and Protocol Translators.


Issues it is best to know earlier than migrating from IPv4 to IPv6

Web Service Supplier (ISP) – Ensure that your ISP is offering IPv6 providers – For net and e-mail you possibly can run them dual-stack, create A and AAAA data for them, and they need to work. Issues like logfile evaluation have to be made v6-aware. Ideally you want IPv6 PTR data, particularly for e mail.


Community Infrastructures – Your routers have to help IPv6. If not, you’ll be able to run a 6to4 tunnel however that’s not likely manufacturing grade until you could have a contract with a tunnel supplier. Usually, computer systems and routers and so on. have been IPv6-capable for some time. Switches don’t care.


The Firewalls – That you must duplicate your firewall guidelines in IPv6. In case you are operating NAT since you couldn’t get sufficient IPv4 addresses, you possibly can simply drop it and run v6. In case you are counting on NAT for safety, you have to add firewall guidelines.


DHCP – IPv6 routers promote routes and addresses so the whole lot will get on-line, however you want DHCP6 to inform them what DNS to make use of. You possibly can find yourself with issues working however not having well-defined addresses – i.e. you possibly can lose monitor of what’s in your community until you retain monitor of what ports the whole lot’s plugged into and do MAC authentication on wifi.


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