IPv6: Are we ready for it?

Internet Protocol version 6 or IPv6 is our main topic today. We will discuss its main purpose, structure, and why it is so important.

Internet Protocol – definition

The Internet protocol, or IP, is a set of rules for online communication. It determines the format of data packets, which is the most efficient framework for transporting data across networks. It’s also in charge of employing IP addresses to route and address data packets delivered to their destination.

What is the purpose of IPv6?

IPv6 (Internet Protocol Version 6) is a network layer protocol that enables communication and data transfer across the web. Internet Protocol Version 6 was created in 1998 with the primary intention of eventually replacing the IPv4 protocol. Despite this, the majority of organizations continue to use the earlier IPv4 standard. Since 2017, it has been an Internet Standard (IETF) to anticipate an increase in IPv6 usage in the near future.

What does it look like?

IPv6 addresses are made up of eight four-digit hexadecimal sequences. Colons are used to divide them altogether. In addition, each sequence represents 16 bits. The hexadecimal system includes sixteen characters, including the digits 0 through 9, as well as the letters “a,” “b,” “c,” “d,” “e,” and “f.”The following is an example for IPv6 address: 2008:5fe:7a5b:4025:1001:2013:5d6e:1a4f

Types of IPv6

IPv6 addresses come in various shapes and sizes, but it’s important to note that there are no broadcast addresses in Internet Protocol Version 6. Some of the most popular are as follows:

  • Unicast addresses – we use them to identify a single interface or individual node.
  • Anycast addresses – they define a group of interfaces, with a packet sent to an anycast address being routed to one of the group’s members.
  • Multicast – we use multicasts to send a single packet to multiple destinations simultaneously. As a result, all of the group’s interfaces receive a packet delivered to a multicast address.

Advantages of using IPv6

There are considerable benefits to implementing IPv6. The following are a few of them:

  • IP addresses are essential for domain name resolution if you own a network or a website. Perhaps you’re still using IPv4 and A DNS records to accomplish this. You will, however, sooner rather than later switch to IPv6 and AAAA.
  • To provide a variety of Internet services, such as web hosting, application hosting, etc.
  • For configuring network routing at work or at home. Older devices may not support the new Internet Protocol version 6. This may be the sole disadvantage.
  • IPv6 is compatible with the 5G Internet of the future. Now is the time to start planning for a smooth transition.

Conclusion

We’ll all be using IPv6 at some moment. So the sooner you realize the importance of Internet Protocol Version 6 and how to deploy it in your own networks, the better.

List of DNS Terms You Need to Know

Here is a list of some DNS terms that are essential for you to know and understand. They are going to help you manage your network more easily and be familiar with the terminology. So, let’s explain a little bit more about each one of the DNS terms!

DNS

The Domain Name System, or DNS for short, is a worldwide naming database. It translates domain names to IP addresses (IPv4 and IPv6). DNS is created with several levels in hierarchical order, and it is entirely decentralized. Thanks to it, we are not required to remember long and complex numbers (IP addresses) for each website. Instead, we use the domain names. 

DNS server

DNS servers are two different types – authoritative name servers and recursive name servers.

  • Authoritative name servers – They store DNS zones with zone files for the domains and answer DNS queries. Examples: TLD (Top Level Domain) servers and Root servers.
  • Recursive name servers – They travel and ask different servers for an answer to the DNS queries.

DNS zone

The DNS zone is a small segment of the DNS namespace. Every zone could be maintained by a separate DNS administrator. That is why the Domain Name System is decentralized. Domain and zone are not the same things. A domain could hold a single DNS zone, or it also can have several. 

DNS record

A DNS record is a simple text file that indicates an instruction for a domain. There are various DNS record types that have different purposes.

For instance, one shows the IP address (A or AAAA record), another shows a service, such as an email server that receives emails (MX record), and so on. 

DNS query

The DNS query is the behind-the-scenes process of obtaining different DNS records of a domain, such as searching for the IP address (A or AAAA record). Users generate DNS queries when they want to visit a particular website.

Anycast DNS 

Anycast DNS is a routing mechanism that speeds the DNS resolution process. It performs by setting an identical IP address in multiple name servers placed in diverse geographical locations. As a result, when a user makes a DNS query, it is going to receive an answer from the closest and available name server. 

Dynamic DNS 

Dynamic DNS is implemented for automatically updating your IP address every time it changes. In the most common scenario, the Internet Service Provider (ISP) switches your IP address to a different one. The reason for that is simple. They hold extensive networks, and such action helps them for easy management. It is a great idea to implement Dynamic DNS in case you have CCTV cameras for surveillance. 

DNS cache

DNS cache is a useful mechanism for storing DNS data (DNS records) of domain names that are previously queried. A lot of different devices use such cache memory mechanisms, for instance, mobiles, computers, tablets, and DNS recursive servers. The main goal of DNS cache is to reduce the needed time for resolving a domain name. Due to the implementation of such a mechanism, DNS recursive servers do not perform the entire DNS lookup process each time a specific domain name is requested. 

DNS propagation

DNS propagation refers to the amount of time that is needed for your new DNS changes to spread through the entire global network – the Internet. For instance, if you modify a DNS record (A or AAAA record) and change the IP address for a particular hostname. Usually, the DNS propagation process takes a couple of hours up to 72 hours to spread the new information in each server all around the world.