Breaking it down to simplistic terms, the Internet is a network of computers and mobile devices connected to each other through a series of routers and speaking common protocols. The way that these routers connect computers and mobile devices across the Internet is through either IPv4 or IPv6 addresses.
Knowing about this technical jargon may seem tasking and irrelevant for most businesses. Why not hire someone with IT knowledge to deal with it instead, right? But there is a growing need for businesses to familiarize themselves with some basic knowledge about and the differences between the different types of IP addresses. Let’s start with the growing problem facing IPv4 then go into detail to why implementing IPv6 to work alongside your current IPv4 for your business now will save you and serve you in the future.
IPv4, or Internet Protocol version 4, is one of the two Internet protocols in use today that determine how devices connect to each other through IP addresses. Its successor is IPv6, the system developed to provide a solution to IPv4’s current dilemma: an ever increasing shortage of available IP addresses for emerging businesses, enterprises and even individual users. IPv6 is able to offer significantly more IP addresses than IPv4, making it possible to keep the Internet growing for a very long time. While IPv4 can support only about 4.29 billion IP addresses because of its 32-bit support, IPv6 can provide a total number of IP addresses equivalent to 2^128 due to its 128-bit support. That is a huge support for Internet growth far into the future.
Shifting over to a dual-stack IPv4-IPv6 configuration seems like an advantageous measure, but many businesses are unaware that this is something they need to do or they are foregoing it, arguing that a complete shift from IPv4 to IPv6 will not take place for a very long time and so they don’t need IPv6. Some major networks, such as Google and Facebook, made the switch to IPv6 two years ago on World IPv6 day. Here are some key reasons why your business would benefit by switching to IPv6 in the long run.
Less financial burden
With the increasing shortage of IPv4 addresses, prices for them are bound to increase with time. Staying with IPv4 also means investing in networking equipment, such as NAT devices, that will work around the shortage of addresses for the short term.
No Website Disruption
While a complete shift to IPv6 is a very long time away, more and more businesses have started implementing both IPv4 and IPv6 as a dual-stack solution. IPv4 and IPv6 networks are not capable of connecting with each other, which means accessibility problems for your business’ website should you choose to stay with IPv4 only. Put into business terms, this means that any end users (ie, potential customers and clients) won’t be able to access your site or contact you if they are on IPv6 addressing and your business only supports IPv4
The shortage situation of IPv4 addresses is a global issue. Many regions of our world are already completely out of IPv4 addresses and have been forced to either buy IPv4 addresses from other markets or start using IPv6 addressing.
More and more businesses are realizing the value in switching to IPv6. To stay afloat and keep up with competing businesses, switching over to IPv6 means your business will not go to a technology graveyard caused by catching on to the trend far too late.
By implementing IPv6 as a dual-stack solution, you configure your hosts with the ability to run both IPv4 and IPv6 network stacks. You do this once and you will not need to go through multiple iterations of transition mechanisms that you outgrow. Each of your hosts communicates with IPv4 hosts using its IPv4 address and also communicates with IPv6 hosts with its IPv6 address. Since, like we mentioned, IPv4 and IPv6 addresses can’t communicate with each other directly, a dual stack solution allows your hosts to be accessible to all IP systems and to end users and communicate with them whether they are IPv4 or IPv6.
Implementing IPv6 for your business is cheaper and easier than you’re probably thinking. It’s better to implement now as parts of the world and many users in the USA are already using IPv6. Without the dual stack solution, your business could be missing out on all of these potential clients or customers. VXNet’s dual stack IPv4/IPv6 solution is very easy to implement. Contact us today to learn more about getting IPv6 for your business!