World IPv6 Day is celebrated on 8th June, to motivate Internet service providers, hardware makers, operating system vendors and web companies – to prepare their services for IPv6, to ensure a successful transition from IPv4 as IPv4 address space runs out.
What is IPv6?
Internet Protocol version 6 is a protocol to support more devices with unique internet addresses. The main reason for the push of IPv6 was to mitigate the problem of the depleted IPv4 resource.
We have faced the scarcity of IP resources even after using possible 4.3 bn combinations. With IPv6, there are now enough IP combinations for everyone in the world to have a billion IP addresses for every second of their life. The IPv6 launch has expanded the number of Internet addresses to 340 undecillion.
Even after so many efforts by various organizations, the deployment & use of IPv6 is not very promising. Today the World IPv6 penetration stands around 59.1 as per the sources form APNIC, Out of total BGP Routing table only 29.2% support IPv6 protocol.
Here is the Google IPv6 native users’ comparison graph which states the difference between 2017 vs 2018 native users.
History of IPv6 in India
The history of IPv6 in India is very old, Sify, one of the oldest Internet Service Provider in India rolled out IPv6 in 2005. Since then it is running on dual-stack network supports with both IPv4 & IPv6. Many other big private networks started implementing IPv6.
NIXI, National Internet Exchange of India has implemented IPv6 in 2008.
Mumbai IX, founded on 15th August 2014 the largest Internet exchange in India is running on dual-stack since its inception.
Initiatives by Government to Promote IPv6:
>The Indian Government is also pushing very hard for IPv6. The Indian Education and Research Network, ERNET, Department of Electronics & IT of the government of India is providing dual-stack networks from 2006 onwards and has been part of many EU funded initiatives such as 6Choice, 6lowpan, Myfire, GEANT etc.
>ERNET’s (Education and Research Network) own websites and those host of other organizations are all running on the dual stack. ERNET provides Consultancy and Turnkey project Implementation to organizations migrating to IPv6 along with fulfilling their Training needs.
>Department of Telecommunications, of the government of India, has run workshops on IPv6 on 13 February 2015 at Silvassa & on 11 February 2015, at DoT headquarters, New Delhi. They have also released roadmaps on IPv6 deployment. But not much of them realized on the ground.
> IRINN, the Regional Internet Registry is offering IPv6, for free to networks who have a requirement and can justify the same with usage and implementation plans.
IPv6 Penetration in India :
IPv6 penetration: 51.73%
World Rank in IPv6 penetration: 2nd Only after Belgium.
No. of IPv6 Users: 243,747,295 Out of 471,210,045
World Rank in IPv6 Users – 1st
The very credibility of this success goes to Reliance Jio which have added more than 237 million in less than a nine month.
Problems in Implementation of IPv6
>Deficiency of address space – The no. of connected devices to the internet has grown exponentially. The size of address space 232 is quickly exhausted.
>IPv4 only Infrastructure – needs to upgrade on Both Networks & Customers ends. Most of the equipment used currently does not support IPv6.
>Lack of Knowledge – Many networks operators lack technical knowledge and prefer NATing over IPv6.
> Maintaining Status Quo – Networkers love of IPv4 is still evident. Due to which they are paying a huge amount for few resources. The black marketing of these resources is very common practice in India, where the many of the networks don’t prefer IPv6.
>In IPv4 header has the variable length. This was acceptable when routing was done by software. But now routers are built with hardware, and processing the variable length headers in hardware is hard.
>Absence of the auto-configuration IP addresses mechanism.
We still have to go a long way. As India’s IPv4 resource is about to end (34,685,952 IP’s for the population of more than 1.2 Billion, which roughly calculates 29 IP’s per thousand people). The faster we adopt IPv6, the better we can contribute to the Indian Internet Ecosystem.
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