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On ‘World IPv6 Launch Day’ today Global Deployment of IPv6 begins



Architectural Change in Internet Addressing System to enhance addressing capacity
Major ICT Stakeholders to Permanently Enable IPv6 for Products and Services
27 Indian Websites brought on IPv6 Platform
All Government Websites to migrate to IPv6 by December 2012

Global transition from Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) to Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) began today. To mark the ‘World IPv6 Launch Day’ an event was organized here. Speaking on the occasion Shri R Chandrasekhar, Secretary Department of Telecommunication, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology said, for India this transition is not only urgent but also very important. Expressing faith in achieving transition well in time he said transition period will be more difficult than end period.
Today major Internet Service Providers, networking equipment manufacturers and web companies around the world are coming together to permanently enable IPv6 for their products and services. This day, being organized by Internet Society, represents a major milestone in the global deployment of IPv6. Last year, one-day ‘World IPv6 Day’ event was held on 8 June wherein, top websites and Internet Service Providers around the world, joined together for a successful 24-hour global-scale trial of the new Internet Protocol, IPv6.
In India 27 websites have been brought on IPv6 platform. Further, a direction has been issued to all the Government organizations to migrate their websites to IPv6 (dual stack) by December 2012. As IPv6 is not backward compatible with IPv4, the transition to IPv6 is likely to be a complex, mammoth and long term exercise during which both IPv4 and IPv6 will co-exist.
The IPv6 improves on the addressing capacities of IPv4 by using 128 bits addressing instead of 32 bits, thereby practically making available an almost infinite pool of IP addresses. IPv6 will affect all kinds of devices. In fact the large address space of IPv6 makes it possible for every device on earth to get connectivity. Therefore, the Internet would no more be a network of people but a network of things or the“Internet of Things”. The devices could be of any, such as Smart Phones, Smart Tablets, Traditional Internet desktops, Data-enabled mobile phones, Consumer appliances, Embedded systems, Sensors etc.
Possibilities of IPv6 applications across different industry segments are also immense. Some of the possibilities in various sectors include - Communication - Use by service providers in their networks, Data centers, ASP, Web Hosting; Energy Sector -Smartgrids, Smartmeters; Transportation -Intelligent transport systems, Smart vehicles; Media -IPTV, Mobile TV; Healthcare -Emergency rural healthcare management, Smart healthcare management systems and Defense Sector -Intelligent warfare systems.
India has at present 35 million IPv4 addresses against a user base of about 360 million data users. In addition, Government is planning to have a target of 160 million and 600 million broadband customers by the year 2017 and 2020 respectively. Moreover, there is a strong security requirement to provide unique IP address to each individual data user. In addition to addressing capacity, IPv6 also offers several other advantages over IPv4.
a) Security – Internet Protocol Security (IPSec) is mandatory in the network layer and is a part of the IPv6 base protocol suite. It supports end-to-end security, authentication and non-repudiation thereby simplifying end to end security into applications.
b) Autoconfiguration – This is a plug and play feature which simplifies network configuration especially when the number of devices / nodes is very large like in typical sensor networks. It helps networks to quickly respond to crisis situations and facilitate adhoc network reorganizations.
c) IP Host Mobility – This feature enables a mobile node to arbitrarily change its location on an IP network while still remaining reachable and maintaining existing connections. Some practical uses of Mobile IPv6 could be enterprise on the move (e.g. courier companies etc.), globally reachable home networks, and internet enabled transport (cars, buses, trucks etc.)
d) Innovative Applications – IPv6 has been designed with many new features which make it possible to develop entirely new applications which are not possible in the IPv4 protocol e.g.Centralized Building Management System,Intelligent Transport Systems, Rural Emergency Health Care, Tele-education / Distance Education, Smart Grids etc.

IPv6 is not just about addresses but about applications taking advantage of the new features built into the protocol. Only a few applications have been mentioned and there are many more applications possible. The Department of Telecommunications is actively pursuing with industry, Central and State governments through regular meetings to propagate the adoption of IPv6 for the benefit of the country.

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