The shift to IPv6, next in the line of Internet protocols, has been a slow and arduous process as companies around the world try to move away from the old IPv4. When fully implemented, however, IPv6 will have a dramatic impact on mobility, including machine-to-machine (M2M) platforms.
According to InfoWorld, IPv6’s potential for the mobile market was discussed extensively at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The key with IPv6, the experts said, is the widespread availability of unique IP addresses. While IPv4 addresses are running out, there are enough available with IPv6 to assign 4.3 million to each person in the world.
For M2M, that means a few things. First, connected home devices will be able to exchange data directly with another device such as a smartphone instead of bouncing information around the Internet. It will also be easier to connect these devices to the Internet for first time because manufacturers can assign each a unique IPv6 address.
Yankee Group VP of Research Brian Partridge comments
“The focus on IPv6 at CES is a good sign, as Yankee Group expects 80 percent of the world’s ISPs will exhaust their stockpiles of IPv4 addresses within the next couple of years. The end of days for routable Internet addresses is approaching fast—spelled out by simple math, not the Mayan calendar. As IPv4 space runs out the entire M2M ecosystem must act to ensure something as seemingly trivial as addressing doesn’t create a massive headwind working against market growth.
While the migration to IPv6 will be costly and painful, the endgame is attractive as IPv6 gets us enough address space available to accommodate billions of direct Internet connections. But there is a major caveat emptor: Directly connecting devices to the Internet bypassing NAT and firewall layers dictate that devices will need to become much better at defending themselves from a growing list of cyber threats.”
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