Due to recent concerns over the impending depletion of the current pool of Internet addresses and the desire to provide additional functionality for modern devices, an upgrade of the current version of the Internet Protocol (IP), called IPv4, is in the process of standardization. This new version, called IP Version 6 (IPv6), resolves unanticipated IPv4 design issues and takes the Internet into the 21st Century. This paper describes the problems of the IPv4 Internet and how they are solved by IPv6, IPv6 addressing, the new IPv6 header and its extensions, the IPv6 replacements for the Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) and Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP), neighboring node interaction, and IPv6 address autoconfiguration. This paper provides a foundation of Internet standards-based IPv6 concepts and is intended for network engineers and support professionals who are already familiar with basic networking concepts and TCP/IP.
IPv6 is an IP address standard designed to replace the current IPv4 protocol, which has been in use since the 1980s for routingInternet traffic. The new protocol has been available for several years now and supports several magnitudes more address spaces than IPv4, while also providing better security and reliability.
For more than 30 years, 32-bit addresses have served us well,but the growth of the Internethas mandated a need for more addresses than is possible with IPv4. IPv6 allows for vastly more addresses. IPv6 is the only long-term solution, it has not yet been widely deployed. With IPv4 addresses expected to run out in 2011, only 0.2% of Internet users have native IPv6 connectivity.
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