There Is An Opinion: IPv6 Failed – Who And Why Thinks So!
The IPv6 appeared in the mid-90s and should replace IPv4. After almost 30 years, IPv4 has not gone away, and only one-fifth of Internet users have moved to the new version of the IP protocol. For some experts, this situation has become a reason to doubt the prospects for IPv6. What is their opinion, and who disagrees with him, – we discuss this further.
State of things
Before turning to the discussion of opinions, first, take a look at the big picture and talk about how things are going with IPv6 on the world stage. In the USA and India, the new version of the protocol is available 46% and 49% of network users. In these countries, technology is promoted by several major Internet service providers, such as Indian Reliance Jio and US Verizon and T-Mobile. The latter in 2018 even began to abandon IPv4 in their networks.
However, in the rest of the world, IPv6 is not as popular. According to Google estimates, 22% of search engine users use IPv6, while in China and Indonesia, the largest countries in terms of population, on a par with the United States and India, less than 5%.
The situation with the slow growth of IPv6 popularity has divided the IT community into two camps. Some believe that the new protocol is the only way to solve the problem of a shortage of IPv4 addresses, which, in the end, will necessarily end (according to forecasts, the last block will be given away in August of this year). Others say that technology has no future and needs to look for an alternative. Next, we look at what arguments both parties give.
Those who doubt the future of the protocol
Opinion on the “death” of IPv6 expressed in an article for Arxiv.org. Authors with an engineering background write that the introduction of a new protocol is very slow and has actually become obsolete. According to them, IPv6, like previous versions of the protocol, is designed for a “static” user location and is not optimized for work in mobile networks.
When a user moves from one access point to another, his IP address changes. Each base station constantly monitors the availability of free addresses to ensure that new devices are connected. At the same time, IPv6 for “station switching” uses the same mechanisms (handover) as IPv4. For a long time the development of the protocol, these mechanisms have become obsolete, which is the new conditions may lead to an increase in network costs. And as a result, this will affect the cost of services of mobile operators.
IPv6 motivators say not only about technology obsolescence but also about the fact that it does not provide a significant increase in performance. According to research in the Asia-Pacific region, packet transmission via IPv4 is faster than via IPv6. And in the countries of Africa and Latin America, there is no significant difference between the protocols in data transfer speed.
Another argument of opponents of IPv6 is the fact that many organizations simply do not want to engage in updating the IT infrastructure. In order to stimulate the migration of businesses to IPv6, a number of English Internet service providers began to take an additional charge from corporate clients for using IPv4. However, most companies agree to pay, just do not have any business with the new protocol.
Who believes in the future of the protocol
One of the IPv6 advocates is Cisco. In its report on the future of the Internet, the corporation notes that Internet service providers are already actively implementing the updated protocol. According to forecasts for representatives of the IT giant, by 2022 the volume of IPv6 traffic in the world will grow by more than six times.
- Another company that supports IPv6 is Facebook. According to its representatives, more than half of American social network users are already using the “new generation protocol”. At the same time, traffic growth was recorded in other countries: Mexico, Vietnam, and Taiwan. Facebook expects that in the coming years, more providers will be introduced in different parts of the world. In support of this point of view, predictions about the development of IPv6 in China speak. Since 2018, China Mobile and Chinanet, major Internet providers, have begun to deploy new networks.
IPv6 support and IT experts. One of them is John Curran (John Curran), president of the American online registrar ARIN. According to him, with the shortage of IP addresses, so far only the largest Internet service providers have encountered, and it is these companies that gradually began to switch to IPv6. The process is still going unnoticed by ordinary users, so it may be mistaken for them that IPv6 is “dead.”
In this case, for some providers, the transition to the new protocol becomes the only right decision. For example, the Australian operator Aussie Broadband recently discovered that for him expanding the pool of IPv4 addresses would be more expensive than a full transition to IPv6. According to the organization, the new protocol could save millions of dollars.
One of the developers of the TCP/IP protocol stack Vinton Cerf also spoke about the need for IPv6 deployment. According to him, during the development of IPv4, no one imagined that the protocol would become a mass technology. IPv4 was supposed to play the role of a temporary solution for the experiment, but it “broke free from the laboratory” and became the basis of the global Internet. According to Cerf, the popularity of IPv6 is really growing too slowly, but for the protocol, all is not lost.
What are the alternatives to IPv6
While the situation with IPv6 is in a “suspended” state, a number of engineers and researchers have already begun work on alternative solutions.
- The first is Named Data Networking (NDN). The creators of the technology suggest replacing the device’s IP address with a hierarchical name, for example,/UCLA/videos/demo.mpg/1/3. Developers called this approach information-centered. In this case, applications can represent dependencies between data in the form of a hierarchy.
According to the authors of the technology, among the advantages of the NDN architecture is the built-in encryption of each packet, the absence of restrictions on the number of names and the need to create additional internal addresses for the local network.
Another alternative is Recursive Internetwork Architecture (RINA). In this approach, the network is represented as a “layered” structure, where each layer (DIF) performs the same functions and uses the same protocols (as opposed to the OSI model), but differs in “dimensions”. For example, in such a network, the layers will be divided into the home DIF, provider DIF, and so on.
At the same time, to transfer data in the RINA-system, it is enough to know the name of the recipient process, and not its network address or port for connection. This makes the whole process safer. Another advantage of this architecture is the built-in support for mobile devices. The process that is connected to the network does not change its name when the user moves from one access point to another.
All alternative technologies are considered experimental and have not been used in large networks. Therefore, while IPv6 remains the most likely replacement for IPv4. Whether he will succeed in “speeding up” his spread remains to be seen, but according to representatives of large IT companies, he has every chance for that.