Why the shift towards IPv6?
The main reason behind the focus upon adoption of IPv6 addressing has been primarily instigated by the fact that the pool of IPv4 addresses available for future allocation now amounts to zero.
Since the entire pool of IPv4 addresses has been used up, the Internet Protocol system will now commence working with new addresses derived from the IPv6 system. One of the major factors to take note of in regards to the IPv6 addressing system is the fact that it will provide a much larger pool of addresses as compared to IPv4, ensuring that the Internet will not run out of IP addresses anytime soon.
The IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) is responsible for allocating the IPv4 addresses to a number of RIRs (Regional Internet Registries). The RIRs then further divide the IP address pool in order to distribute them amongst companies and other concerned entities.
Since adoption of the new IPv6 system has become critical to the operation of the Internet, the RIRs have been working since the past couple of years towards the promotion and development of the IPv6 system. They have been in direct communication with network operators at different levels and have helped them train for the adoption of the IPv6 system. Although it may seem to be a simple enough task, the IPv6 addressing interface involves the use of a number of new features and protocols that network operators have to incorporate within their hardware and software systems.
Most operators and companies will now continue to provide dual-stack IPv4 and IP6 networks. For those who are still comfortable with using the old system, companies will continue to provide the IPv4 network. However, entities and companies looking to move ahead with the new system will have the opportunity to try it out as well, especially with IPv6's new security protocols and performance-driven features.