To date, I’ve written twice about IPv6 and, at the end of my second piece, I promised that our next post would cover IPv6 compatibility and translation issues, so here it is.
The TCP/IP protocol works by exchanging packets/frames, usually no larger than 1500 bytes. Within a frame, there’s a header and a payload. The payload contains the information we’re actually transmitting; the header contains all the information related to the protocol, including the source and destination IP address. Since IPv4 uses 32 bit addressing, the IPv4 TCP/IP protocol only reserves 32 bits for it. This means, there is no space for the 128 bits of IPv6. In other words, if a computer tried to “talk” IPv6 within the same protocol where the receiving computer expects IPv4, all the information would be displaced by 96 bits and there’d be no way they’d understand each other.
In reality, things are actually far more complicated than what I’ve verbalized because the protocol itself, the content of those headers, has been redesigned. That said, this small example allows one to grasp fairly quickly how imperative it is that the two computers must speak the same protocol or they simply will not be able to understand each other; unless something in between functions as a translator.
Now, assume your computers are only able to understand IPv4 but here you are, browsing a website that has an IPv6 IP address; how will your browser communicate with that web server? Or, imagine you have a web proxy within your network, filtering all user web requests; and this proxy only understands IPv4; how will that proxy talk to the web server?
Going deeper into this case in point, every device and every application in your network would have to be able to communicate using both protocols since they’re not interchangeable. I can already assure the reader that a very large part of your devices, and most likely, all your applications don’t understand IPv6. If you’ve purchased a switch or a router recently, it’s very possible that the device can understand both protocols but the likelihood of you needing to upgrade most of your hardware (and soon) is very high. Also, since most of these devices are unable to translate between the two protocols, conversation happens either in IPv4 OR in IPv6, never a hybrid.
Enter Network Box’s NBRS 5.0, the OS which will run the new generation of Network Boxes.
This revolutionary platform allows for seamless simultaneous translation between the two protocols. Our next post will detail just how Network Box NBRS 5.0 solves the issues discussed above. Until then, have a productive week ahead.