Fieldbus & Industrial Networking

Moxa white paper

September 2009 Fieldbus & Industrial Networking

IPv6-ready Ethernet switches for industrial networking – Ray Hsu Moxa product marketing.


Experts foresee that the depletion of unallocated IPv4 addresses will become a major problem in the next two to three years, unless an alternative solution is found.

As of September 2007, nearly 80% of the world’s IPv4 address capacity was exhausted, leaving only 20% for future Internet users. In recent years, the demand for IPv4 addresses has steadily accelerated due to rapid population growth, broadband deployment, and global demand for unique addresses for communication applications such as Voice over IP (VoIP), mobile phones, and connecting sensors over the Internet.

Experts foresee that the depletion of unallocated IPv4 addresses will become a major problem within the next two to three years, unless an alternative solution is found. It is believed the Internet Assigned Number Authority (IANA) will exhaust all available IPv4 addresses in the IANA pool by 2010 and the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) will run out of large unallocated contiguous blocks of IPv4 addresses in 2011 if current allocation rates prevail.

The Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) is the next generation protocol designed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to replace Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPv4). Most of today’s Internet and enterprise networks use IPv4, which is now more than 20 years old as it was first introduced in the 1980s.

When IPv4 was originally developed, the sheer vastness of today’s Internet was beyond imagination. Although this protocol is still the standard for the Internet, its limitations have been surfacing for some time. The primary constraint is that IPv4 address space only allows up to four billion nodes on the network, and the number of free addresses is rapidly depleting due to the Internet’s continuous expansion. In contrast, IPv6 allows for 340 undecillion (340 x 1036) addresses, large enough to accommodate expansion of the Internet to include every electronic device in the world – now and in the future.

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