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BLOG: Mobile Devices and BYOD are driving IPv6 adoption

Scott Hogg | June 25, 2013
A mobile population needs IP addresses to communicate.

NAT64/DNS64 allows an IPv6-only system to access IPv4-only applications on the Internet using a DNS proxy and some addressing trickery. T-Mobile had an early IPv6 beta trial that used NAT64/DNS64. The 464XLAT technique uses a client-side translator (CLAT) and a provider-site translator (PLAT) to allow mobile nodes to access IPv4 client/server applications on the Internet over an IPv6 service provider core network connected to the dual-protocol Internet. There is a Google site that explains more about 464XLAT and there is a video presented at the World IPv6 Congress Paris on this technique.

Regardless of the path these service providers take, they will undoubtedly eventually have to deploy a fully IPv6-capable core network. However, one of the other factors that is affecting mobile users from taking advantage of IPv6 is the fact that Skype does not support IPv6 yet. If Microsoft made Skype operate in a dual-protocol environment, then more Skype connections would be taking place over IPv6 transport.

The Internet of Things:
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a term for the changing way the Internet is used. For the most part, the Internet is used for connection-oriented application protocols like HTTP and SMTP. However, over time there are devices connecting to the Internet that are not used by an end-user to access client/server applications. These devices communicate between themselves and to other control systems. This Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications does not follow the typical unicast traffic models and typical exchanges are small amounts of event-driven data.

The Internet has evolved, beyond a collection of web servers and desktop computers with web browsers, to a conglomeration of diverse device types and communications activities. To give IP connectivity to all these numerous sensors requires large amounts of IP address space available with IPv6. IPv6 also facilitates sensor network connectivity using Stateless Address Autoconfiguration (SLAAC). Geoff Mulligan of the IPSO Alliance and Proto6 gave a presentation at the 2013 North American IPv6 Summit on "IPv6 for IoT and M2M applications".

Cisco has announced plans to develop solutions for the "Internet of Everything" (IoE) movement. The video on their site provides a compelling argument for the importance of these solutions and the potential benefits to our lives. There are also some recent Network World articles on the topic of: "The Internet of Things: Coming to a network near you" and "What is the Internet of Things?", and "Indirectly connected to The Internet of Things". There is also an interesting article on Ninja Blocks and "How the 'internet of things' can spark an open source community". Each of these "things" needs an IP address to be able to communicate and therefore, IPv6 is the only viable method to connect large numbers of these nodes to the Internet.


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