Your handy IPv6 checklist

Face it -- IPv6 is about to come into its own in a very big way. Get ready before you're blindsided

Feb. 3, 2011 is a date that will live in infamy -- for some of us, anyway. That day marked the last time IANA will allocate a fresh /8 netblock to one of the Regional Internet Registries (ARIN, RIPE, and so on).

One could legitimately say that the Internet is indeed out of IPv4 addresses right now, but the pain won't really be felt until the RIRs deplete their allocations and ISPs burn through what they've already been allocated. That date will vary depending upon what part of the world you live in. The Asia-Pacific region is slated to run out first, but everyone else is close behind. Getting a good old dotted-quad IPv4 allocation from your ISP is going to be a fun bedtime story you can tell your kids within the next year or two.

[ Behind the curve on IPv6? Matt Prigge shows you how to build your own IPv6 lab on the cheap with everyday materials. Check out both parts, and you'll be right on top of the new protocol. | InfoWorld's Peter Bruzzese suggests that users get their Windows networks IPv6-ready while they still can. | Keep up on the latest networking news with our Technology: Networking newsletter. ]

Introducing IPv6

Of course, as most technologies become overwhelmed by their own success, there's usually a replacement around the corner that's ready to jump in and save the day. In this case, that replacement is the much seen but rarely understood IPv6, and it's been around since 1998. Talk about a slow walk into the spotlight.

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