There is a limit of 4 billion unique addresses available in the 32-bit address space of IPv4. The continued growth of the Internet is fast approaching the limits of the protocol with ARIN projections indicating that remaining IPv4 address space will be exhausted by 2010.
While IPv4 uses a 32-bit identifier for host addressing a 128-bit address space is used for IPv6; with each bit doubling the number of unique addresses, IPv6 provides for over 340 undecillion (3.4 × 1038) unique identifiers. IPv6 was designed with the intention that every network will use a 64-bit host segment for its address, leaving a 64-bit network identifier, or 18 quintillion (1.8 × 1019) unique networks, each having the same maximum number of hosts. That's enough for each network to hold each computer on the Internet today.
With so much address space it's easy to become overwhelmed with IPv6 deployment. Network Designers quickly notice that the unwritten rules of IP addressing no longer apply to IPv6, and trying to apply them will quickly result in an overly complicated mess. The resources here will help provide information on IPv6 usage and deployment.
Copyright © 2012 Ray Soucy
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