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April 19, 2011

Guest blog: What is IPv6 and why you should care

Here's a guest post from Bart Trojanowski, one of the organizers of the 2011 Ottawa IPv6 Summit, an event coming up on April 29.
Whenever you use the Internet, you are using the Internet Protocol (IP). More specifically, you are using the 4th version of the Internet Protocol, or IPv4. 
IPv4 was designed in the late 1970s, when the number of computers connected to the Internet was less than 100. At the time 4.3 billion addresses (the number computers IPv4 can accommodate) seemed limitless. But today, our computes, laptops, cellphones, cars and fridges all compete for this resource. Did you know that Google alone has over a million servers around the world?
Over a decade ago, engineers started working on an upgrade to the Internet Protocol. The replacement is IPv6, which amongst other things brings more addresses to the Internet.
Remember changing from 7 to 10 digit phone numbers? The upgrade to IPv6 addresses a similar problem -- an explosive growth in devices sharing the same numbering scheme which quickly becomes exhausted and needs an extension.
Unfortunately, the upgrade to IPv6 will not be a seamless one, as some hardware and software might have to be brought up to date. This could be a problem if you're not prepared. 
The Ottawa IPv6 Summit aims at preparing IT workers, their managers, networking engineers, hobbyists and enthusiasts for the impending Internet Protocol upgrade. 
Participants will talk about the advantages of the new protocol, as well as challenges and solutions that the change will bring. 
The event is hosted by the Telfer School of Management, at the University of Ottawa, and will take place on April 29, 2011. For more info visit IPv6Summit.ca
See also: Ottawa Technology Guide

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