Fundamental Benefits of IPv6
|Easier management of networks||IPv6 networks provide autoconfiguration capabilities. They are simpler, flatter and more manageable, especially for large installations.||Networks must be configured manually or with DHCP. IPv4 has had many overlays to handle Internet growth, which demand increasing maintenance efforts.|
|End-to-end connective integrity||Direct addressing is possible due to vast address space - the need for network address translation devices is effectively eliminated.||Widespread use of NAT devices means that a single NAT address can mask thousands of non-routable addresses, making end-to-end integrity unachievable.|
|Unconstrained address abundance||3.4 x 1038 = 340 trillion trillion trillion addresses - about 670 quadrillion addresses per square millimetre of the Earth's surface.||4.29 x 109 = 4.2 billion addresses - far less than even a single IP address per person on the planet.|
|Platform for innovation and collaboration||Given the numbers of addresses, scalability and flexibility of IPv6, its potential for triggering innovation and assisting collaboration is unbounded.||IPv4 was designed as a transport and communications medium, and increasingly any work on IPv4 is to find ways around the constraints.|
|Integrated interoperability and mobility||IPv6 provides interoperability and mobility capabilities which are already widely embedded in network devices.||Relatively constrained network topologies restrict mobility and interoperability capabilities in the IPv4 Internet.|
|Improved security features||IPSEC is built into the IPv6 protocol, usable with a suitable key infrastructure.||Security is dependent on applications - IPv4 was not designed with security in mind.|
The Potential of IPv6Because of the above benefits, the IPv6 protocol has great potential to not only relieve IPv4 address space shortage, but to build larger, more efficient networks, and support greater international interoperability. It can allow business innovation and opportunity through just-in-time processes, mobility features and location-based services. Below are some less obvious examples of how IPv6 might assist business:
- IPv6 can lift production efficiency via real-time information
Computers and networks substantially boosted productivity in the mid 1990s partly because business managers could obtain access to sales information in real time. IPv6 can provide even greater inventory control, with real-time information that allows production planning to meet customer demand more accurately, and reduces the need to continue paying for redundant production capacity.
- IPv6 can shift time-based maintenance regimes to performance-based
Currently industry uses time-based maintenance regimes, ie after a certain period, do a certain type of maintenance. IPv6 can support extensive sensor networks which can provide information on the actual usage of an item (or its current performance level) so that maintenance can be scheduled when it is genuinely needed.
- IPv6 can help us move beyond economies of scale and the tyranny of distance
Linking of market information to production capacity allows production to be more responsive to market needs. In addition, the introduction of digital control technology into production facilities means that shorter runs are possible, without compromising cost savings from economies of scale. Interoperability derived from IPv6 will allow better integration with global markets, which will overcome some of the challenges of our remote location in the world.