Archive for September, 2008

Erion’s David Holder presented at the Global IPv6 Summit in Taiwan today. His talk entitled IPv6 Enabling Unix/Linux and Windows Integration provides a summary of the status of IPv6 in heterogeneous environments and included a case study on IPv6 enabling Samba the world’s leading Windows - Unix/Linux integration package.

Much progress has been made in the IPv6 enabling of Samba. However, many commercial integration products and products built on Samba technology (such as NAS boxes) remain IPv4 only.

The Global Summit included presentations from many of the leading players in IPv6 from around the world. It was particularly interesting to see the significant progress that has been made in the deployment of IPv6 in recent months.

Dr Vint Cerf (Google) gave a video presentation to the conference. Vint Cerf has famously likened the depletion of the IPv4 address space to running out of oil.

“Running out of IP addresses is like running out of oil”, Vint Cerf, 2004.

Tony Hain (Cisco) showed just how close we are to running out of IPv4 addresses. He and others predict the exhaustion of the central pool of IPv4 addresses will occur between 2009 and 2011. He showed that in the final stages of address exhaustion there will be a rush for the remaining address space thereby speeding up the process of address depletion.

In order to manage the final stages of the depletion of the IPv4 address pool regional registries (RIRs) are modifying their address policies. Miwa Fujii (APNIC) summarises the recent APNIC meeting in New Zealand and the key policy changes that were made there. In particular, two important polices seek to improve the management of IPv4 address space. One reserves an address block for the IPv6 transition. This policy seeks to avoid the situation where there are no IPv4 addresses left for use with IPv6 transition technologies making migration to IPv6 even harder. Another policy immediately reserves one block for each regional registrar so that each registrar will have at least one block assigned to it when all other blocks have been assigned.

One effect of both of these policies is that they allocate some of the remaining pool of IPv4 addresses. This means that the predicted date for the central address pool to be deleted has been brought nearer. Despite this, no one is likely to argue that these policies are anything other than a good idea.

The conference was a resounding success. It is clear that the take up of IPv6 is increasing and that the world is becoming aware of the need to migrate to IPv6 before all of the IPv4 addresses have finally been assigned.