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How to take advantage of the next generation of the Internet

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woman and daughter looking at a photo album
by Susan Twombly, Oct. 2007

HP and IPv6

HP has been a designer and implementer of IPv6 since 1995 and was a member of the IETF Internet Protocol Next Generation Directorate that selected IPv6 as the Next Generation Internet Protocol.

Since our first IPv6-enabled products shipped in 2000, we have continued to enhance our products, services and software to help you take advantage of IPv6 technology.

View HPs current IPv6 offerings

HP is one of the original founders of the IPv6 Forum

Are you ready for the next big communication breakthrough? It’s Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6), the next generation of Internet Protocol.

Vitally important to supporting billions of devices on the Internet, IPv6 delivers addressing, scalability and security benefits, along with easier configuration and network management and enhanced mobility features.

HP has invested in IPv6 technology and believes IPv6 is a required, core enabling technology for Next Generation Networks. We also believe that IPv6 is integral to realizing a net-centric vision to support true end-to-end connections. 

Whether you’ve decided to move to IPv6 or you’re just considering your options, it’s a good time to prepare an action plan so you’re ready.

Why do we need a new protocol?

IPv6 delivers a nearly infinite amount of new IP addresses.

Find out more on the IPv4 Address Space Countdown

The Internet’s explosive growth has brought forth a new generation of products that embed the IP reference model. This has rapidly depleted the availability of IPv4 addresses – necessary for adding more devices on the network to accommodate the ever-increasing volumes of handhelds, laptops and other devices that keep daily business flowing.

Given the high number of people and devices accessing the Internet today and the 32-bit limit of IPv4 technology, the demand for IP addresses could quickly exceed supply in the not too distant future. 

The scarcity of IPv4 address space also restricts the introduction of applications, innovative new services that can be rolled out across both business and home networks. Without sufficient address space, applications are forced to work in a very complex environment with mechanisms that provide local addressing, such as IP address conversion, pooling and temporary allocation techniques.

That’s why future network growth requires Internet-enabled devices to be assigned and use a globally unique IP address. And that’s just what IPv6 technology delivers, greatly simplifying network management.

Further, with IPv6, the size of an IP address grows to 128 bits, vastly increasing the number of addresses that can be assigned to each of  these devices. This virtually guarantees an IP address for every person and device on the planet for years to come.

Enhanced security

In an IPv4-based environment, servers can’t always determine whether packets are being received from a legitimate end node. This opens the door for source address masquerading or “spoofing” to acquire confidential data or gain control of a server.

Solutions like firewalls certainly help, but also tend to hinder connectivity for authorized users at the same time – a big step backward in the “always on” access they want and need to stay productive.

IPv6 security is built-in, not bolted on. IP-level security, an add-on in IPv4, is an integral part of IPv6. Leveraging the IP Security Protocol (IPSEC) architecture, authentication, security encryption and data integrity safeguards are inherent in the IPv6 protocol.

End-to-end security.  IPv6 allows for the pervasive end-to-end encryption businesses need today. With IPv6, data protection moves from the perimeter, where firewalls and intrusion detection do their work, to the network layer where individual devices and applications can be protected directly. (This does not preclude the use of firewalls and intrusion detection as additional security for the network.)

Easier network management

Reduced complexity. IPv6 technology enables a more simplified and manageable network architecture. Automatic configuration features can make getting onto the network as easy as plugging a cable into a computer. A “link local” IP address enables immediate communication with directly connected hosts, printers or other devices. So, IPv6-capable devices – from desktops, notebooks, handheld devices or IP phones – can deliver a plug-and-play experience that satisfies users and frees IT staff to focus on running the network.

Peer-to-peer connections. With IPv6, all nodes have their own global and unique address, paving the way for powerful secure end-to-end peer-to-peer networks. This will enable people to access information and share resources without going through a complex maze of middle boxes that requires IT management. This can make introducing new services, such as Voice over IP (VoIP) or instant messaging, much easier

A more seamless mobility experience

IPv6 also comes with enhanced mobility features, since the IP address allows computers and other devices to have a static interface ID. The interface ID doesn't change as the device moves from one location to the next, so mobile IPv6 users can move from network to network while keeping the same unique IP address.

This eliminates the need for triangular routing and delivers a more seamless mobility experience. For example, users can hold a VoIP conversation via a notebook computer in their car, even though they might pass through several service provider areas. Mobile IPv6 also leverages IPSEC for all security requirements.

Plan, transition, benefit

HP believes that IPv6 is the only solution that will allow the Internet to grow and scale into the next decade and beyond. As a fundamental enabler, IPv6 not only provides a powerful foundation for rolling out new and improved services, it can help to revolutionize the way people and devices interact online for end-to-end connections across virtually any type of network.

Start planning your transition to IPv6 today to begin taking advantage of the scalability, security, management and innovative services this next generation of the Internet has to offer.

Learn more

» IPv6 Forum
» HP-UX 11i Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6)
» Network Node Manager Smart Plug-in for Advanced Routing
» HP NonStop TCP/IPv6 Software (data sheet)
» HP Jetdirect 635n IPv6/IPsec internal print server
» View HPs current IPv6 offerings
» Your feedback is important to us, tell us more

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