Cisco: Enough Net addresses for everyone

Cisco, the world's biggest networks supplier, has taken a stand against the industry's drive to create the next generation of the...

Cisco, the world's biggest networks supplier, has taken a stand against the industry's drive to create the next generation of the Internet.

With more and more people logging onto the Internet and the number of mobile devices in circulation set to spiral, there has been growing concern that the number of Internet (IP) addresses would run out. This has been one of the drivers behind the next generation of IP called IPv6.

But Cisco does not believe the existing IPv4 technology will run out of Internet addresses. Cisco's Chris Dedicoat, European group vice president, told CW360.com: "The issue of IPv6 was really driven by the rapid expansion of China's networking and Internet infrastructure, there is no real issue in the short term."

While the general consensus is that the boom in Internet-enabled mobile devices will require a vast number of unique IP addresses - a problem that cannot be resolved with IPv4 technology - Cisco believes users do not need permanent IP addresses.

Dedicoat reassured users: "IPv4 should be used and installed instead at the moment. IPv6 will only be needed when we have multiple devices which are more private and discrete."

Last month the EU said industry action was needed immediately to find a replacement for the existing IPv4 protocol because the number of IP addresses was running out. However Cisco believes the life of the IPv4 standard could be extended since users do not always need a permanent IP address. This could be achieved through a technique known as Network Address Translation used by Internet Service providers.

Each time users log into an ISP service running NAT they are given a unique IP address. When they log off, the IP address is reassigned. Permanent IP addresses are used in situations where it is necessary to restrict access to a network by only allowing devices with known IP addresses to pass through the corporate firewall.

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