ICANN finally begins updated IP standard rollout

Today, the non-profit organization in charge of the Internet's fundamental naming structure finally began migrating its root servers to IP version 6.

ICANN today is finally beginning the long, and perhaps arduous, process of upgrading its root servers to incorporate IPv6 records. Though the updated protocol has been in the post-development phase for over ten years, it has seen very limited uptake outside of the enterprise sector.

However, with the regulations regarding who can obtain an IPv6 address being relaxed, and ICANN beginning its long march forward, marked progress toward the widespread deployment of new IP standard has at last been made.

IPv4, the protocol which most of the Internet uses, is almost twenty years old, and is expected to run out of unallocated addresses by no later than 2017. Currently, only 14% of the total 4,294,967,296 discrete IPv4 addresses remain.

The major benefit of IPv6 is that it has a 128-bit address space, as opposed to IPv4's 32-bit space. It multiplies the capacity for IPs to practical infinity (2128 addresses, or 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456).

In addition to size, IPv6 is geared for more modern traffic, mandating stateless host autoconfiguration, IPsec security, and multicast.

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