One of the crucial mechanisms powering the Internet got a giant, years-in-the-making overhaul on Wednesday and we say “giant” we really mean that! The Internet’s address book grew from “just” 4.3 billion unique addresses to 340 undecillion (that’s 340 trillion trillion trillion). That’s a growth factor of 79 octillion (billion billion billion).
A new chapter has been begun in the history of the worldwide network the Internet. As reported a vice-president of Google Vinton Cerf on the International Symposium which took place in Californian city San Jose, today at midnight Greenwich Mean time a new Internet protocol IPv6 with the lenght of 128 bits was put into service. The old up-to-date standard address of the IPv4 protocol inclueded 32 bits.
The current IP standard, IPv4, was structured like this: xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx, with each “xxx” able to go from 0 to 256. IPv6 expands that so each “x” can be a 0 through 9 or “a” through “f,” and it’s structured like this: xxxx:xxxx:xxxx:xxxx:xxxx:xxxx:xxxx:xxxx. (Yes, there was an IPv5, but it was a streaming multimedia standard developed in the late 1970s that never really caught on).
IPv4 will continue to exist alongside IPv6 for some time, just as digital and analog TV were broadcast side-by-side for years. Though most of the major Internet players will be IPv6 compliant going forward, many routers, devices and operating systems won’t be.
Replying on questions of reporters, a professional, who is often referred to as the “father of the Internet”, explained that the IPv4 protocol allowed 0.3-0.4 billion Internet addresses. In february this year this stock was exhausted. The new reserve is developed for 340 trillion trillion trillion (no kidding!) addresses. 68-year-old Vinton Serf confirmed that he’s a principal opponent of changing a management system of the Internet developmant. According to his words, american developers of the system initially wanted “to build the best possible open platform” and for this reason they “didn’t patent it and didn’t set any limits” on the usage of the protocols. “We really wanted to make this technology an international standard” – he explained, reminding that american developments were openly distributed in 1973″ – “in the hight Cold War”. Since then, according to the experts, the network has been growing “organic and very successful”.