Work on a new version of the Internet Protocol, known as IPv6, has been under way for several years in the IETF. There is still some debate about when and how IPv6 will be deployed. Proponents of IPv6 argue that the demand for new IP addresses will continue to rise to a point where we will simply run out of available IPv4 addresses and that we should, therefore, start deploying IPv6 today. Opponents argue that such a protocol transition will be too costly and painful for most organizations. They also argue that careful address management and the use of Network Address Translation (NAT) will allow continued use of the IPv4 address space for a very long time. Regardless of the timeframe, a major factor in the deployment of IPv6 is an appropriate transition strategy that allows existing IPv4 systems to communicate with new IPv6 systems. A transition mechanism, known as "6 to 4," is described in our first article by Brian Carpenter, Keith Moore, and Bob Fink.
In previous editions of this journal, we have looked at various security technologies for use in the Internet. Security mechanisms have been added at every layer of the protocol stack, and IP itself is no exception. IP Security, commonly known as "IPSec," is being deployed in many public and private networks. In our second article, William Stallings describes the main features of IPSec and looks at how IPSec can be used to build Virtual Private Networks.
Our final article is a critical look at Quality of Service (QoS) in the Internet. The need to provide different priorities to different kinds of traffic in a network is well understood and the technical community has been hard at work developing numerous systems to address this need. Geoff Huston looks at the prospects of deploying QoS solutions that will operate across the Internet as a whole.
The Y2K transition has been described as a "nonevent" by many. However, the lessons learned and the collaborative coordination efforts that were put in place for this transition can hopefully be used in the future. A colleague of mine had to call a plumber to his house on New Year's Eve. When he tried to pay for the repair with a credit card which had "00" as the expiration year, the plumber insisted that this meant the card was invalid. So while most systems were "Y2K compliant," this particular plumber was clearly not. Do you have a Y2K story to share? Drop us a line at email@example.com
-Ole J. Jacobsen, Editor and Publisher firstname.lastname@example.org.