Rather than dismissing the possibility of address exhaustion at a future date, we should learn from past experiences. When we first started deploying IPv4, we had no idea that the IPv4 network would develop into the entity that it is today. Nobody could have guessed that it would be common for households to have multiple PCs, cell phones to have Internet connectivity, and for newly created devices to have cloud access. We have this giant IPv4 network that was never designed properly and was really just a byproduct of increasing connectivity worldwide. Today, this network has developed into a giant mess of routing address blocks scattered around the world, creating a problem that will only get worse as we try to squeeze out every single IP address.
So now, with nearly 20 years of Internet and routing experience behind us, the question becomes, “can we learn from our past mistakes?” I certainly hope so, because I don’t want to be around when we talk about IPv8 or IPv16. The current transition to IPv6 involves so much more than simply adding a new address. It offers you the opportunity to renumber your entire network, the way you wish you had from the start. In essence, it’s a clean slate… a new beginning. So take inventory of your IPv4 resources and make sure that you don’t just mimic your current situation, but that you actually improve your network. Now more than ever, it’s important for you to plan for IPv6 by immersing yourself in the literature to find out as much as possible about the protocol. There are a great number of resources available from cable operators and carriers who have already begun the transition process. The IETF also has a number of very useful papers available. Here at Incognito Software, we want to help you through the transition, so we too have made some IPv6 resources available for you here. If properly designed, an IPv6 network will increase reliability, improve performance, and save you time. So don’t delay! Read up on IPv6, and get started on the path to IPv6.