– Mike Leber, Founder and CEO, Hurricane Electric, says:
Back in the dawn of the Internet, even the most progressive experts couldn’t have predicted how massive it would truly become. Today, it’s hard to imagine where the world would be without it. From communications and networking, to personal security, to gaming and entertainment, to information acquisition and so much more, it’s safe to say that the Internet has completely changed our society as a whole, forever. The network of networks has spurred a fundamental shift in the very ways we interact with the world around us in virtually every aspect, making it arguably the most important invention of our time. With this kind of proliferation, however, come inevitable growing pains. While we are rationing, the world’s 4.3 billion IP addresses provided by Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) are running low.
IPv4 was first specified back in the 1981 RFC 790 “assigned numbers” document when 4.3 billion unique address combinations seemed more than adequate for global usage; no one ever imagined we could possibly need more. Today, the reality is that the world will have more than 25 billion connected devices by 2020, inevitably forcing us to recycle IP addresses. This can cause many issues including the recycling of blacklisted IP addresses, which limits the user’s Internet access, as well as unnecessary increased complexity when connecting online. As the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to proliferate, we can anticipate this number to increase exponentially as everything from refrigerators and car tires to watches and thermostats will require its own unique IP address. So, how do we accommodate so many connected devices?
To combat the issue, some of the greatest minds in the Internet community have developed IPv6, a brand new Internet Protocol that replaces IPv4 and provides us with approximately 340 trillion possible combinations for individual IP addresses. Though necessary, this shift will not be instantaneous and has already been on the market since 2011. As service providers continue to grow their networks and serve new customers with IPv6, they will still need to serve existing IPv4 customers. The solution to the IP’s coexistence without causing service interruption for customers is known as dual stacking.
Dual stacking is a practice of employing both IPv4 and IPv6 Domain Name System (DNS) services, making the transition to IPv6 as streamlined and seamless for the customer as possible and causing no interruption to regular Internet usage. Global Internet service provider Hurricane Electric offers its Colocation, IP Transit and IPv6 Tunnel Broker customers a free dual stack IPv6 / IPv4 hosting platform as a highly cost-effective solution to managing dual stacking capabilities, pointing their domain names to HE.net name servers and managing multiple name server infrastructure from all over the world via one convenient platform. This free IPv4/IPv6 DNS service features support for A, AAAA, CNAME, MX, NS, TXT, SRV, SSHFP, SPF, RP, NAPTR, HINFO, LOC and PTR records, as well as smart mode IPv4 and IPv6 reverse zones, slave support, geographically diverse servers and more. Hosting over one million records and hundreds of thousands of domain names over its IPv4 / IPv6 hosting platform, Hurricane Electric is also owner and operator of the world’s largest IPv6 network as measured by the number of networks connected.
Superior connectivity is key as companies seek low latency solutions while experimenting with and transitioning to IPv6 systems. To assist them, Hurricane Electric provides connectivity to 95 major exchange points and has the ability to directly exchange traffic with over 3,700 distinct networks over more than four redundant paths across North America, two paths between USA and Europe and fiber rings in Europe and Asia. Of course, none of this would be possible without data centers, which provide the necessary infrastructure and connectivity to enable the Internet.
Modern data center technology compatible with IPv6 is also a highly important factor as companies seek superior levels of communication, access to connected resources and be marketability to new customers that require IPv6. Meeting these needs, Hurricane Electric offers IPv4 / IPv6 Internet transit services in its Hurricane Fremont 1 and 2, and colocation facilities as well as Equinix, CoreSite, Cologix, TELEHOUSE, Telecity, Global Switch, and InterXion data centers in New York, Los Angeles, Fremont, Palo Alto, San Jose, Seattle, Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, Ashburn, Toronto, London, Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt, Zurich, Stockholm, Hong Kong and Tokyo.
While collocating with Hurricane Electric is an excellent choice to expand your IT department without the costs, it’s not necessary to experience the Company’s IPv6 capabilities. The Hurricane Electric IPv6 Tunnel Broker is an alternative choice for developers and experimenters looking for a stable tunnel platform to test the waters of IPv6 technology. All that is required to use this service is an IPv6 capable host or router with IPv4 connectivity; it’s a simple and affordable way to prepare yourself during this transitional period to IPv6.
The telecommunication industry is molded by constant change and fluctuation – it is a testament to the evolvement of technology and society as a whole, constantly growing faster, stronger and more useful every day. IPv6 is the next logical chapter in the Internet’s history, so it’s time for you to adapt to this new technology and embrace the new face of the Internet. Adapt of perish.