What is IPv6?By:Michael Roden
IPv6 is the newest and most improved version of the IP. IP (Internet Protocol) is an essential protocol for networks, and is responsible for identifying each machine on the network via a unique address (IP address). Data packets are routed from their source to their destination machine by this method.
In the same way U.S. citizens may be identified by their Social Security number, every machine on the Internet has a unique address. In theory, the Internet can hold only 4.3 billion machines. Unfortunately, in the early days of IP, many IP addresses were sold to companies which underutilized them...placing them in an idle limbo. Others have been devoted to purposes such as research, technology, etc., with the remaining addresses dwindling.
Enter IPv6, or IPng (IP new generation), a version of Internet protocol that is ready to be deployed across the entire Internet and networks. IPv6 will solve the problem of address limitation, bringing improved security and auto-configuration on routers, along with other innovations.
Soon enough, IPv4 will no longer be viable as IPv6 will consist of 128 bits, allowing for a vast increase in the amount of machines that the Internet would handle. Specifically, the number would be 2 raised to the power of 128 -- which will accommodate much more than the previous 4.3 billion (about 3.4 x 10^38 total). The only problem that remains is how to apply these changes amidst all the heavy traffic to seamlessly make the transition from IPv4 to IPv6. There are many discussions, publications, and pieces of relevant research going on in an effort to make IPv6 a reality.
As the momentum of VoIP grows significantly, the exhaustion of address space is becoming a definite concern. The institution of the IPv6 addressing scheme, along with improvements upon various other issues such as quality of service, will help VoIP to become a global staple of communication. Currently, users of IPv4-based IP networks will occasionally face latency, jitter, and/or echo as a result of lost packets or delays over the network. IPv6 is poised to amend these issues by adhering to a set of service requirements, guaranteed to deliver optimum performance while transporting traffic (including voice) over the network. These advancements, in conjunction with the expansion of traffic capacity mentioned above, stand to improve and enhance the reliability of VoIP - ultimately creating cost efficient, high quality calls, and revolutionizing telephony infrastructure.
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