Examining IPv6 on today’s Internet


Article from Issue 88/2008

Is the world ready for the next generation Internet Protocol? We take a look at Linux with IPv6.

The TCP/ IP protocol, which began as an obscure experiment for a handful of academics and U.S. Department of Defense officials, suddenly became popular in the late 1980s and 1990s with the meteoric rise of the Internet. By the early 1990s, the IP address space – which had seemed quite vast in the early days – was beginning to look all too finite, and the experts began to wonder what would happen if the Internet ever ran out of addresses. Work began on a new version of the Internet Protocol (IP) that would put an end to worries of overcrowding. A plan for the new protocol, which came to be known as “IP Next Generation” (IPng), was adopted by theInternet Engineering Task Force (IETF) in 1994, and the details for the IPv6 protocol were released through a flotilla of documents surrounding the RFC 2460 IPv6 specification.

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