Networking

IPv6: time to change?

Keeping the current version of Internet Protocol, the world will run out of IP addresses by 2007. So is it time to move to IPv6? ZDNet Australia investigates.

Advantages and supported applications

Advantages of IPv6
IPv6 provides for a 128-bit address space, which will exponentially increase the number of available public IP addresses.

However, IPv6 offers other improvements over IPv4:

  • It supports IPsec, for better security when sending data across a TCP/IP network.
  • It supports Quality of Service (QoS), for better transmission of real time, high-bandwidth applications such as videoconferencing and voice over IP.
  • It is more efficient; header overhead is minimised, and backbone routers require smaller routing tables.
  • Configuration is easier; both stateful addressing (where addresses are automatically assigned by a DHCP server) and stateless addressing (use of local-link auto configuration without DHCP) are supported.

Currently supported applications
The majority of applications supporting IPv6 belong to the Linux/UNIX space. Though more are appearing daily, that list includes:

1. DNS

  • BIND 9.2.0: The new version of BIND uses A6 records to map a domain name to an IPv6 address and offers IPv6 transport of packets
  • Totd: This lightweight DNS proxy nameserver supports IPv6.
  • IPv6 transport for BIND 8: This is a patch for BIND 8.2.3 that helps resolvers talk to nameservers using IPv6.

2. Firewalls

  • IPFilter: A software package that supports IPv6 filtering.
  • IPFW: This IPv6-aware IPFW tool is included within the FreeBSD 4.0 release.

3. FTP

  • LFTP: This FTP client supports IPv6.
  • NcFTP (Windows): This is a robust IPv6 FTP client for Windows.

4.IPsec

5. Mail

  • Exim: This mail transfer agent offers built-in IPv6 support.
  • Qmail: IPv6 support is available through the v1.03 patch by Kazunori Fujiwara
  • Public Sendmail: Version 8.10 of this mail product officially supports IPv6.
  • Fetchmail: This mail utility supports both IPv6 and IPsec

6. Monitoring tools

  • ASpath-tree: Use this tool on an IPv6 site to monitor BGP4+ routing.

7. Web servers and clients

  • Apache (Linux): This release of the Apache Web server for Linux has built-in IPv6 support.
  • Apache 2.0.x: This beta code of Apache 2.0 supports IPv6.

Executive summary

  • The world will run out of IPv4 addresses during this decade. IPv6 can cope with the anticipated massive expansion in demand for addresses for mobile devices and embedded systems.
  • Some countries are already very short of IPv4 addresses, and they will most likely lead the transition to IPv6.
  • IPv6 mandates encryption and source authentication in every implementation.
  • IPv6 provides schemes for automatically generating unique addresses without manual intervention. This is especially important for mobile devices that connect to different networks at different times.
  • Major operating systems and router vendors already support IPv6. Applications that store IP addresses internally will require upgrades.
  • Don't rush into IPv6. Few organisations have any pressing need to start making the change yet.

Subscribe now to Australian Technology & Business magazine.

Advantages and supported applications

Advantages of IPv6
IPv6 provides for a 128-bit address space, which will exponentially increase the number of available public IP addresses.

However, IPv6 offers other improvements over IPv4:

  • It supports IPsec, for better security when sending data across a TCP/IP network.
  • It supports Quality of Service (QoS), for better transmission of real time, high-bandwidth applications such as videoconferencing and voice over IP.
  • It is more efficient; header overhead is minimised, and backbone routers require smaller routing tables.
  • Configuration is easier; both stateful addressing (where addresses are automatically assigned by a DHCP server) and stateless addressing (use of local-link auto configuration without DHCP) are supported.

Currently supported applications
The majority of applications supporting IPv6 belong to the Linux/UNIX space. Though more are appearing daily, that list includes:

1. DNS

  • BIND 9.2.0: The new version of BIND uses A6 records to map a domain name to an IPv6 address and offers IPv6 transport of packets
  • Totd: This lightweight DNS proxy nameserver supports IPv6.
  • IPv6 transport for BIND 8: This is a patch for BIND 8.2.3 that helps resolvers talk to nameservers using IPv6.

2. Firewalls

  • IPFilter: A software package that supports IPv6 filtering.
  • IPFW: This IPv6-aware IPFW tool is included within the FreeBSD 4.0 release.

3. FTP

  • LFTP: This FTP client supports IPv6.
  • NcFTP (Windows): This is a robust IPv6 FTP client for Windows.

4.IPsec

5. Mail

  • Exim: This mail transfer agent offers built-in IPv6 support.
  • Qmail: IPv6 support is available through the v1.03 patch by Kazunori Fujiwara
  • Public Sendmail: Version 8.10 of this mail product officially supports IPv6.
  • Fetchmail: This mail utility supports both IPv6 and IPsec

6. Monitoring tools

  • ASpath-tree: Use this tool on an IPv6 site to monitor BGP4+ routing.

7. Web servers and clients

  • Apache (Linux): This release of the Apache Web server for Linux has built-in IPv6 support.
  • Apache 2.0.x: This beta code of Apache 2.0 supports IPv6.

Executive summary

  • The world will run out of IPv4 addresses during this decade. IPv6 can cope with the anticipated massive expansion in demand for addresses for mobile devices and embedded systems.
  • Some countries are already very short of IPv4 addresses, and they will most likely lead the transition to IPv6.
  • IPv6 mandates encryption and source authentication in every implementation.
  • IPv6 provides schemes for automatically generating unique addresses without manual intervention. This is especially important for mobile devices that connect to different networks at different times.
  • Major operating systems and router vendors already support IPv6. Applications that store IP addresses internally will require upgrades.
  • Don't rush into IPv6. Few organisations have any pressing need to start making the change yet.

Subscribe now to Australian Technology & Business magazine.

Advantages and supported applications

Advantages of IPv6
IPv6 provides for a 128-bit address space, which will exponentially increase the number of available public IP addresses.

However, IPv6 offers other improvements over IPv4:

  • It supports IPsec, for better security when sending data across a TCP/IP network.
  • It supports Quality of Service (QoS), for better transmission of real time, high-bandwidth applications such as videoconferencing and voice over IP.
  • It is more efficient; header overhead is minimised, and backbone routers require smaller routing tables.
  • Configuration is easier; both stateful addressing (where addresses are automatically assigned by a DHCP server) and stateless addressing (use of local-link auto configuration without DHCP) are supported.

Currently supported applications
The majority of applications supporting IPv6 belong to the Linux/UNIX space. Though more are appearing daily, that list includes:

1. DNS

  • BIND 9.2.0: The new version of BIND uses A6 records to map a domain name to an IPv6 address and offers IPv6 transport of packets
  • Totd: This lightweight DNS proxy nameserver supports IPv6.
  • IPv6 transport for BIND 8: This is a patch for BIND 8.2.3 that helps resolvers talk to nameservers using IPv6.

2. Firewalls

  • IPFilter: A software package that supports IPv6 filtering.
  • IPFW: This IPv6-aware IPFW tool is included within the FreeBSD 4.0 release.

3. FTP

  • LFTP: This FTP client supports IPv6.
  • NcFTP (Windows): This is a robust IPv6 FTP client for Windows.

4.IPsec

5. Mail

  • Exim: This mail transfer agent offers built-in IPv6 support.
  • Qmail: IPv6 support is available through the v1.03 patch by Kazunori Fujiwara
  • Public Sendmail: Version 8.10 of this mail product officially supports IPv6.
  • Fetchmail: This mail utility supports both IPv6 and IPsec

6. Monitoring tools

  • ASpath-tree: Use this tool on an IPv6 site to monitor BGP4+ routing.

7. Web servers and clients

  • Apache (Linux): This release of the Apache Web server for Linux has built-in IPv6 support.
  • Apache 2.0.x: This beta code of Apache 2.0 supports IPv6.

Executive summary

  • The world will run out of IPv4 addresses during this decade. IPv6 can cope with the anticipated massive expansion in demand for addresses for mobile devices and embedded systems.
  • Some countries are already very short of IPv4 addresses, and they will most likely lead the transition to IPv6.
  • IPv6 mandates encryption and source authentication in every implementation.
  • IPv6 provides schemes for automatically generating unique addresses without manual intervention. This is especially important for mobile devices that connect to different networks at different times.
  • Major operating systems and router vendors already support IPv6. Applications that store IP addresses internally will require upgrades.
  • Don't rush into IPv6. Few organisations have any pressing need to start making the change yet.

Subscribe now to Australian Technology & Business magazine.

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