Squeeze and IpV6 mean a fun 2011 for Debian server admins

Bye bye IpV4
Well, it looks like our good old fashioned, 4-digited IP addresses are about to meet their maker and go to the digit matrix in the sky for good. There has been a lot of talk about the v4 to v6 doomsday, but everybody was hanging on until the last minute before making any changes.

I for one have spent years removing IpV6 from the network settings on my Debian desktop as there was a notable speed difference. But that was only because there was slowdown caused by a search for non-existent IpV6 addresses before the IpV4 search. Now it seems this will no longer be necessary as everybody slowly converts to IpV6.

2011 – Big year for Debian server admins
I work as a Debian server Admin, and 2011 is going to be a memorable year for my colleagues and I. Firstly, Debian Squeeze (6.0) was released as “Stable” yesterday (Feb 6th), which means we will start upgrading all our clients’ servers pretty soon, although we do still have a year of Security updates. And now we are facing more future changes with the changeover to IpV6.

Google and World IpV6 Day

In the same way your phone is associated with a unique number, your computer is assigned a unique Internet Protocol (IP) address when you connect to the Internet. The current protocol, IPv4, allows for approximately 4 billion unique addresses—and that number is about to run out.

This morning the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced (PDF) that it has distributed the last batch of its remaining IPv4 addresses to the world’s five Regional Internet Registries, the organizations that manage IP addresses in different regions. These Registries will begin assigning the final IPv4 addresses within their regions until they run out completely, which could come as soon as early 2012.

As the last blocks of IPv4 addresses are assigned, adoption of a new protocol—IPv6—is essential to the continued growth of the open Internet. IPv6 will expand Internet address space to 128 bits, making room for approximately 340 trillion trillion trillion addresses (enough to last us for the foreseeable future).

Google, along with others, has been working for years to implement the larger IPv6 format. They’re also participating in the planned World IPv6 Day, scheduled for June 8, 2011. On this day, all of the participating organizations will enable access to as many services as possible via IPv6.

Today’s ICANN announcement marks a major milestone in the history of the Internet. IPv6, the next chapter, is now under way.


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