Definitely not today, tomorrow or this year, but within the next few years IPv6 will be a forced reality for everyone. It is very true that IP address protocol will not affect the majority of the worlds population, as the heavy lifting will be done behind the scenes, but for those of us out actively managing, building, selling and buying the infrastructure that makes this thing we call the digital economy work, THIS IS VERY RELEVANT. WHY is this so relevant you may ask?

There are 4.2 Billion specific addresses capable within the IPv4 internet protocol.

Knowing this, ponder this:

  • There are over 7 Billion people on the planet today
  • Nearly 700 Million people around the world have broadband connections in their home
  • This number is increasing steadily by @ 150 Million every 3 years
  • Over 2 Billion people around the world have a mobile phone
  • This number is expected to increase to beyond 3 Billion by 2016
  • The average number of connected devices per person is now over 2 and rising rapidly
  • Google alone has close to, if not more than, 1 Million servers in production
  • Nearly every physical or virtual server, switch, router, load balancer or firewall requires a unique identifiable IP address to exist within a network

Do the math and you’ll quickly realize that even with NAT, we will be running out of space quickly as the world becomes a more connected and “gadget” focused economy. Do some research and you’ll also find that the majority of the devices in the market today from a physical and software level do not, and cannot, support IPv6.

There are 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 specific IP addresses capable within the IPv6 protocol.

Interested yet? You should be. Here are a few resources that will help you dive deeper:

IPv4 Depletion Q&A

IPv6: What, Why, How Presentation Slides

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