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Deploy360 10 November 2016

IAB Warns That All Networking Standards Need To Fully Support IPv6

Dan York
By Dan YorkDirector of Web Strategy

IPv6This week the Internet Architecture Board (IAB) issued a strong statement warning that any networking standards developed by Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) need to fully support IPv6.

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is of course the major SDO developing networking standards for the Internet, but many other standards organizations base their standards on IETF standards. 

For instance, any organizations creating standards that work over the Internet rely on the underlying Internet Protocol (IP) and many other associated standards.

Noting that IPv6 deployment levels continue to increase (ex. see Google IPv6 stats), and that increasingly IPv6-only networks are being deployed, the IAB has now stated:

The IAB expects that the IETF will stop requiring IPv4 compatibility in new or extended protocols. Future IETF protocol work will then optimize for and depend on IPv6.

The IAB goes on to say:

We recommend that all networking standards assume the use of IPv6, and be written so they do not require IPv4. We recommend that existing standards be reviewed to ensure they will work with IPv6, and use IPv6 examples.

The IAB goes on to encourage the industry and others to develop strategies for systems – and standards – to work in an IPv6-only environment.

The key point here is that the IAB is saying that IPv6 deployment is at the point where organizations developing standards can no longer rely on IPv4 being available. Standards that rely on IP need to be reviewed to make sure they can work over IPv6. And new standards need to assume that IPv6 will be the default in an increasing number of networks.

This is good to see – and we certainly hope that all SDOs will take these recommendations seriously and ensure that all their standards will work over IPv6.

Please do read the full IAB statement – and then if you have not already started working with IPv6, please visit our Start Here page to get started!


P.S. There were good discussions of this news on Hacker News and Reddit for those who participate on those sites.

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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