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For some years now there has been talk of the Internet running out of IP addresses, a by product of the permanently on, permanently connected world in which we live. The number of IP addresses needed could not have been envisaged when the current addressing scheme (IPv4) was devised in the 1960's.
IPv6, which gives us trillions and trillions of addresses to chose from, was developed and ready to use by 1981 but take up so far has been almost non existent.
A recent BBC article quotes Vint Cerf, one of the fathers of the Internet (and an ex-boss of ours) as saying that "....the net faced "turbulent times" if it did not move quickly to adopt IPv6". The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) ran out of non-assigned IPv4 address around the beginning of March this year - see our IPv6 page.
If you're purely a domestic 'net user, it's unlikely that you will be affected when the Internet Service Providers start to roll out their IPv6 plans in earnest, however if you are responsible for any network services (and this may just be remote access for workers to your corporate data) you may need to start thinking now about a migration of those services to IPv6. It's likely that you will also have to perform some sort of IPv4 to IPv6 translation service for your corporate network for a period of time to allow it to communicate with the rest of the 'net during the migration period.
Some companies are already providing IPv6 connections for their existing services, such as Google, so if you want to try out v6 for yourself, check out the requirements page at: http://www.google.com/intl/en/ipv6/
As usual, if you need any specific advice regarding IPv6 or any other network related issues, give us a call on 0845 450 4944.