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IPv6 has been an approved network layer protocol for over a decade now, but adoption has been slow until recent years – simply because there weren’t enough compelling reasons for deployment. However, due to the explosion in applications, data and IT services, more IPv4 addresses are being depleted. With future scalability of the Internet (and cloud) in mind and Internet of Things (IoT) on the rise, the need for IPv6 is becoming increasingly apparent.
Read on to see how IPv6 adoption benefits businesses that have already migrated.
IPv6 helps strengthens security
IPv6 offers a large pool of addresses by using 340 undecillion 128-bit addresses, compared to just 4.3 billion 32-bit IPv4 addresses. This large pool of IP addresses creates additional security by making host scanning and identification more difficult for attackers. In addition, IPv6 runs end-to-end encryption that’s available for all connections and supported by all compatible devices and systems. This also makes attacks significantly more challenging.
Unlike IPv4, IPv6 mandates the support of IP security (IPsec) with protocols that enable authentication, data integrity and confidentiality. However, it’s important to note that IPsec is not automatically implemented – it must be configured and used with a security key exchange.
IoT requires more IP addresses than ever before
According to Gartner, 20 billion “things” will be connected to the Internet by 2020. Given this high number, it’s easy to understand why IPv6 holds significance to the connectivity of IoT devices. Each device can be assigned its own unique IP address, through which it connects to the network, and interacts with other devices on a global scale.
As IPv4 is already being stretched thin to provide an IP address to each mobile phone, much less to every smart device in the world, IPv6 will provide a plentiful supply of addresses for the foreseeable future.
Cloud computing requires IPv6
Gartner projects the cloud computing market to reach a market size of $317 billion by 2022 (G00364114, Market Insight: Cloud Growth, Market Direction and Seizing the Opportunities). As an Internet-based technology, the expansion of IP address options is critical. IPv6 not only provides the resources and capabilities to scale cloud deployments, but also serves as a key differentiator in the marketplace.
Cloud providers are seeing their customers experience dramatic growth in the number of applications they have to support, and those applications will most likely move to the cloud. Managing these applications in a traditional IT environment is challenging, and the agility and scalability that can be achieved through IPv6 puts them in a better position to help customers gain control over application management. Many of these customers view IPv6 capabilities as a future-ready requirement, and even more cloud providers are willing to architect using IPv6 due to rising IPv4 secondhand marketplace prices.
Considering the move?
At Zenlayer, we strive to be advocates of IPv6 and we have successfully implemented IPv6 solutions for many of our cloud clients. Need help? Contact us to see how we can help your business make this difficult transition.