Act now for IPv6

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IT experts, Razorblue, are advising businesses to ensure they’re prepared as the internet starts to run out of address space which could have a detrimental effect for businesses. 

Razorblue specialises in managed IT services for a range of SMEs, business parks and public sector organisations and is currently working with businesses across the North East and Yorkshire to make sure their networks are ready and is introducing affordable, high speed connectivity to a number of business parks across the region in areas such as York, Leeds and Newton Aycliffe.

Every device on the internet is allocated a unique ‘Internet Protocol’ (IP) address- just like every house has an address.

Since the Internet’s inception in the 1970s an addressing scheme, known as IP Version 4 (IPv4), was used to allocate addresses. It was thought that 4.3 million addresses available through this system would be enough for users around the world. However, the popularity of the internet has exceeded predictions thanks to PCs, smartphones, laptops and 24-hour reliance on technology.

The rapid growth of the internet and popularity of the web have now exhausted this pool of addresses and the growth of the net is linked to the size of this pool- because everything that connects to the net needs an IP address to send and receive data.

Towards the end of last year, the last block of IPv4 addresses began to be allocated. Once these are depleted there will be no easy way for new devices to attach to the internet without complex translation and tunnelling methods which could massively slow down the speed of the internet.

Dan Kitchen from Razorblue explains: “The lack of IPv4 addresses will be a particularly significant problem for businesses that need to make services accessible to the outside world, such as servers within their corporate networks. But help is at hand as a new address system- IPv6- has been developed and has been available for several years.

“The problem is, in the UK we are desperately behind in adopting the newer version with only 0.19% of internet users able to access the IPv6 internet- compare this to countries such as France and Romania who are already at 5% and 9% respectively.

“It’s vital that people start to enable IPv6 now in order to keep the internet open for business and to make sure they stay connected online as the number of web users and devices continue to grow.”

Razorblue is advising people to seek help from their ISP (internet service provider), IT support provider or in-house IT department about IPv6 because some devices, such as PC’s running Windows XP, are not compatible and will require replacement or software upgrades.

Razorblue has been working with providers and clients for some time now, preparing for IPv6 and we have fully rolled our IPv6 across our core network.

Dan Kitchen added: “Many ISP’s are simply not acting to roll out IPv6 because they are not seeing demand from their end users and, therefore, no financial benefit. This demand will no doubt only be driven when people start to notice the effects, at which point it will be too late and businesses will incur unexpected costs.”

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