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Running out of IP addresses: A look at the new versions of IP addresses (IPv6)

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  1. Introduction
  2. IPv6
    1. Features
    2. Addressing
    3. Types of addresses
    4. Unicast IPv6 addresses
  3. Special IPv6 addresses
  4. Multicast IPv6 addresses
  5. IPv6 addresses for a host
  6. IPv6 interface identifiers
    1. EUI-64 address-based interface identifiers
    2. IEEE 802 addresses
    3. IEEE EUI-64 addresses
    4. Mapping IEEE 802 addresses to EIU-64 addresses
  7. IPv6 and DNS
    1. The host address (AAAA) resource record
    2. The IP6.ARPA domain
  8. IPv4 header
  9. The changes from IPv4 to IPv6 header
  10. ICMPv6 error messages
  11. Mobile IP
  12. Summary and conclusion
  13. References

The current version of IP (IP version 4) has been extremely successful but according to experts, the Internet will face a serious problem in a few years. Due to its rapid growth and the limitations in its design, there will be a point when no more free addresses are available for connecting to new hosts. At that point, no more new web servers can be set up, no more users can sign up for accounts at ISP, and no more new machines can be set up to access the web or participate in online games. Many of us have heard of the proposals to convert the Internet Protocol standard from the current version IPv4 to a new standard IPv6. The reason for the new standard is the rapid growth of the Internet and IPv6 is being introduced to overcome the address space restrictions of the old one. IPv6 is a lot more than IPv4 by just adding and modifying some bits at the end to make the address space bigger. It is anticipated that there will be much more emphasis on real- time transactions. Many network administrators dislike changes like IPv6 because they fear some thing wrong can happen in future that will be for days or weeks later. But this is not going to be happen because, since an IPv6 network can talk to an IPv4 network and vice- versa.

The IPv6 header has a new format that is designed to keep in mind that it should out do the header overhead. This is done by changing the location of both non-essential fields and optional fields to extension headers that are placed after the IPv6 header. Currently only 32 bit address schemes are being used which is of IPv4 scheme.IPv6 has 128-bit (16-byte) source and destination IP addresses. The large address space of IPv6 designed for huge number of address allocation to fulfillment of the requirement of the internet.

[...] Figure 15 shows the Next Header field in the IPv6 header and zero or more extension headers that form a chain of pointers. Each pointer indicates the type of header that comes after the immediate header until the upper layer protocol is identified. Figure 15 Next header fields Extension Headers Order Extension headers are processed in the order in which they are present. Because the only extension header that is processed by every node on the path is the Hop-by-Hop Options header, it must be first. [...]

[...] The fragmentable part of the original IPv6 packet must only be processed at the final destination node. This part consists of the Authentication header, the Encapsulating Security Payload header, the Destination Options header for the final destination, and the upper layer PDU. Authentication Header The Authentication header provides data authentication (verification of the node that sent the packet), data integrity (verification that the data was not modified in transit), and anti-replay protection (assurance that captured packets cannot be retransmitted and accepted as valid data) for the IPv6 packet. [...]

[...] To identify all nodes for the interface-local and link-local scopes, the following addresses are defined: FF01::1 (interface-local scope all-nodes multicast address) FF02::1 (link-local scope all-nodes multicast address) To identify all routers for the interface-local, link-local, and site-local scopes, the following addresses are defined: FF01::2 (interface-local scope all-routers multicast address) FF02::2 (link-local scope all-routers multicast address) FF05::2 (site-local scope all-routers multicast address) Anycast IPv6 Addresses Anycast address is a new type of address incorporated in IPv6. An anycast address is assigned to multiple interfaces. [...]

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