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IPv6 Frequently Asked Questions

If any part of your business relies on the Internet, you need to prepare for the rise of IPv6 network traffic.

What is an IP address?

An Internet protocol address is what networks, computers, and other connected devices use to communicate over the Internet. For example, when you type in a web address, the network is actually talking to other networks using a unique, numerical IP address—turning rackspace.com into the unique IP address, 173.203.44.122.

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What is IPv4?

Today, IPv4 is the dominant protocol in use, representing approximately 99% of all Internet traffic. IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) is responsible for the global coordination of IP addressing space. February 1, 2011 marked the official depletion of IANA’s pool of free IPv4 addresses.

Its depletion leaves the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs), from whom Rackspace receives IP addresses, with a finite number of pre-allocated blocks that many predict will run out soon.

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What is IPv6?

IPv4's replacement, IPv6, represents a new addressing family of around 340 undecillion addresses (enough to assign eight billion IP addresses to each atom in the bodies of the entire population of the world).

IPv6 adoption represents an industry-wide challenge to upgrade systems to IPv6 compatibility.

Rackspace continues preparing for IPv6 and wants to make sure you have the information you need to develop an IPv6 action plan.

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How is Rackspace preparing for IPv4 depletion?

Rackspace has been putting measures in place to provide guidance and ease the transition for our customers. We've done things like:

  • Upgrading our data center networks, product offerings, website, and customer portals to handle both IPv4 and IPv6 traffic
  • Helping customers upgrade their Rackspace environments to IPv6
  • Implementing data-center-wide translation devices to allow IPv6 traffic to reach IPv4 systems
  • Participating in World IPv6 Day, an event that brought together major industry entities, like Google, Yahoo, and Akamai, on June 8, 2011 for a 24-hour test of IPv6 implementations

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Why should I care about IPv6 readiness?

The challenge is that IPv6 addresses aren’t compatible with IPv4 addresses. So if you don’t take the necessary steps to upgrade, you won't be able to:

  • Sell goods or deliver your content to IPv6 users
  • Access Internet-based applications, like chat and online apps
  • Launch new websites

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What should I do?

Begin evaluating your Internet-dependent assets and formulating your own IPv6-readiness plan. Here are three ways to start:

  • Construct a list of vendor dependencies for your computing environments and confirm that they're IPv6-ready
  • Review the software applications on your websites for IPv6 compatibility and adjust them as needed
  • Assess your configuration for any hard-coded IPv4 addresses or formats, and formulate a plan to replace them

After you do this, you can start building a list of required actions and scheduling time for the tasks you’ll need to perform to get IPv6-ready.

If you have IPv6-related questions and you're a Rackspace customer, contact your Account Manager or Support Team.

For more information, read our IPv6 FAQ document, or see http://www.ipv6.com.

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