Understanding the Transition to IPv6

  • IPv6 is the next generation Internet Protocol (IP) address standard that is intended to supplement, and eventually replace, the IPv4 protocol used by most Internet services today. To help ensure the continued rapid growth of the Internet as a platform for innovation, IPv6 tackles some of IPv4's shortcomings - namely, the limited amount of remaining addresses. While the technical foundations of IPv6 are well established, significant work remains to deploy and begin using IPv6 capabilities.

    Because IPv6 is central to the continued growth and stability of the Internet, XO Communications is working with other organizations to promote its deployment by sharing information, and by helping to build the required operational capability within the Internet community.

  • IPv6 Basics – A Transition from Existing Network Addressing

    • The basics of IPv6 are similar to those of IPv4 - devices can use IPv6 as source and destination address to pass packets over a network, and tools like ping for network testing as they do in IPv4, with some slight variations.
    • IPv6 supports source and destination addresses that are 128 bits, in order to provide more address space that can be used flexibly and effectively.
    • The general format for a global IPv6 unicast address is comprised of three elements:  global routing prefix, subnet ID, and  interface ID within the 128 bits used for IPv6. The IPv6 Interface ID is used to identify interfaces on a link, and is required to be unique within a subnet prefix.
    • The five Regional Internet Registries (such as ARIN and APNIC) will move toward issuing titles to IPv4 and IPv6 address space rather than allocating blocks. ARIN is currently developing an open source package for x.509 certification of resource ownership to facilitate this change.

    XO Communications currently supports the transition from IPv4 to IPv6. Our network is peered with other major ISPs that have accepted their role in supporting IPv6, and many of our customers currently use IPv6 addressing across the XO network as a dual stack arrangement with IPv4.

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  • What are the benefits of IPv6?

    • Reduced time, management and complexity associated with IP Configurations
    • Re-established transparency and end to end QoS shaped traffic on the Internet
    • Improved Multicasting Functionality on all IPv6 platforms
    • Enhanced mobile node capabilities

  • Understanding the Transition to IPv6