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BLOG: Life in a dual stack world

Scott Hogg | April 25, 2013
What life might be like when we are using two Internet protocols?

We will also need to be able to perform the, hopefully, occasional troubleshooting of the dual-protocol systems. We will need to have operational methods at-the-ready that permit us to adroitly troubleshoot a dual-protocol environment. The more rehearsed these practices the faster we will be able to troubleshoot and reduce the Mean-Time-To-Repair(MTTR) and increase the operational availability of the systems. This video presents some thoughts on the subject and there is a mini version of the video that goes with it.

The Internet of Everything:

One of the things that keeps getting mentioned over and over is how IPv6 will be able to easily support connectivity of millions of devices because of its immense address space. IPv6 pundits speak about how there will be an explosion of "sensor networks" that will take advantage of Stateless Address Auto-Configuration (SLAAC) and wireless connectivity.

Cisco has recently announced their plans for having solutions for the "Internet of Everything(IoE)". Cisco has a web page that is dedicated to their strategy and the solutions that support this initiative. Watching this video makes us realize just how much potential there is for networking technology to positively impact our lives.

The "Internet of Things (IoT)" has also become a popular topic in the last week. Geoff Mulligan with the IPSO Alliance and Proto6 gave a presentation titled "IPv6 for IoT and M2M applications" at the IPv6 Summit. In the last few days there have been several articles in Network World on the topic. "The Internet of Things: Coming to a network near you", "What is the Internet of Things?", and "Indirectly connected to The Internet of Things". However, it might be cooler to add a Mr. Fusion Flux Capacitor to your 1981 DeLorean than aSquareTag.

As the global population has now passed 7 billion and the number of mobile phones has passed 6 billion, we will certainly need more the IPv4's 32-bits or 4.2 billion addresses. The "Things" on the Internet are most likely to be people roaming the planet with their smartphones. Over time the Internet will get more and more crowded with an ever-growing globally connected community and the only way to continue to connect more devices is with IPv6. However, those users still have the expectation of connecting to the IPv4 Internet and therefore, they need dual-protocol connectivity.


The transition to IPv6 has already started in the core of the Internet and is moving rapidly to the access edge. Many organizations across the globe have already started to deploy IPv6 at their Internet edge as many more organizations are just starting to contemplate what this all means to them. Every device that connects to the Internet will eventually need to support IPv6 because the adoption of IPv6 is inevitable. However, IPv4 is going to be with us for decades to come. As we brace ourselves for this transitional period we should try to anticipate what we can expect when we are running both protocols. If we consider this prior to being in the dual-protocol situation then maybe we can come up with ways to make the transition easier to bear.


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