Protocol changes are never easy, especially when they involve something as fundamental as the Internet Protocol (IP). This journal has published numerous articles about the depletion of IPv4 addresses and several articles about IPv6, including methods for a gradual transition from v4 to v6. A lot of energy has gone into the development, promotion, and deployment of IPv6, but in reality only a small fraction of the global Internet currently supports IPv6. Meanwhile, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) and the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) will "soon" (12 to 24 months from now is predicted) run out of IPv4 addresses to allocate. Although this situation has some serious implications for new entrants to the Internet Service Provider (ISP) market, it does not spell the end of the Internet as we know it. Numerous Network Address Translation (NAT) solutions are already widely deployed, and the IETF is discussing other solutions. One example is Address Sharing as explained by Geoff Huston in our first article.
Changes to the Domain Name System (DNS) are also underway. The Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) are being gradually deployed in the global Internet. As with any complex technology, implementation of DNSSEC is not without problems. Our second article, by Torbjörn Eklöv and Stephan Lagerholm, is a step-by-step guide for those considering implementing DNSSEC in their network.
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—Ole J. Jacobsen, Editor and Publisher