Depletion of the IPv4 address space and the transition to IPv6 has been a “hot topic” for several years. In 2011, interest in this topic grew considerably when the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC) became the first Regional Internet Registry (RIR) to start allocating addresses from its final /8 IPv4 address pool. Although depletion dates are difficult to predict accurately, there is no question that the day will come when it will no longer be possible to obtain IPv4 space from the RIRs. News stories about IP addresses being sold for considerable sums of money are becoming more common.
Numerous organizations have been working diligently to promote, test, and deploy IPv6 through efforts such as the World IPv6 Day, while the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) continues to develop solutions to aid in the transition. One such effort, the Port Control Protocol(PCP), is described in our first article by Dan Wing.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will soon begin accepting applications for new Top-Level DomainsTLDs). It is not yet known how many new TLDs will eventually be deployed, but the plans have prompted several studies focused on the resiliency and scalability of the Domain Name System (DNS). Bill Manning discusses some of the technical challenges associated with a vastly expanded TLD space.
The IETF Homenet Working Group "...focuses on the evolving networking technology within and among relatively small 'residential home' networks. For example, an obvious trend in home networking is the proliferation of networking technology in an increasingly broad range and number of devices. This evolution in scale and diversity sets some requirements on IETF protocols." Geoff Huston gives an overview of some of the challenges facing this Working Group.
The product of the IETF is a set of documents, mainly protocol specifications and related material. These documents start life as Internet Drafts and proceed through a series of iterative refinements toward eventual publication as Request For Comments (RFCs). Over time, several tools have been developed to aid in the document development process, and they are now organized at the IETF Tools webpage. We asked Robert Sparks to give us an overview of some of the most important tools and the process involved in their development.
—Ole J. Jacobsen, email@example.com