Sebastopol, CA--IPv6, the next generation Internet Protocol, has been in the works since the early 90s when the rapid growth of the Internet threatened to exhaust existing IP addresses. Drawing on 20 years' operational experience with the existing protocol (IPv4), the new protocol offers scalability, increased security features, real-time traffic support, and auto-configuration so that even a novice user can connect a machine to the Internet. But what does this mean for IT professionals? Having learned all the strengths and weaknesses of the old protocol, do they abandon that knowledge and start afresh with the new? In her book, IPv6 Essentials, (O'Reilly, US $39.95) author Silvia Hagen provides a succinct, in-depth tour of everything IT professionals will need to know to plan for, design, and integrate IPv6 into their current IPv4 infrastructure.
"IPv6 Essentials" provides a well-organized introduction to IPv6 for experienced network professionals, administrators, managers, and executives. Hagen covers all the new features and functions in IPv6, discussing everything readers will need to understand to get started, including how to configure IPv6 on hosts and routers, and which applications currently support IPv6.
"The market is getting ready for IPv6," Hagen explains. "In Asia, many ISPs have to use IPv6 today because they do not have enough IPv4 address space to cover the demand. In Europe and the US, the situation with address space is not as critical yet, but it will become so. The developments in the market for home networking will also adopt IPv6. As soon as domestic networked appliances use IP addresses, IPv6 will be used not only because of the availability of address space, but also because of the auto-configuration mechanisms (or do you want a DHCP server in your kitchen?). Manufacturers of home entertainment systems and gaming software developers are interested in IPv6 technology for these reasons.
"IPv6 also has many features that will be needed for current and emerging technologies like Mobile IP," Hagen adds. "And, it solves the issues about NAT, Network Address Translation, and lack of end-to-end security in many cases. I do believe that it's time for ISPs and corporations to learn about IPv6 and plan for deployment while there is still time to plan."
Beginning with a short history of IPv6, Hagen provides an overview of the new functionality and describes some live test and production networks that are using the new protocol. Hagen then shares exhaustive discussions of the new IPv6 header format and Extension Headers, IPv6 address format, and IPv6 message format. "IPv6 Essentials" also covers:
Security in IPv6: concepts, requirements, and solutions. Includes the IPSEC framework and security elements available for authentication and encryption
Quality of Service: covers the types of QoS in IPv6 and how they can be implemented
Networking: Layer 2 support for IPv6 with sample network designs that show how to integrate IPv6 into your network without interruption of IPv4 services
Routing protocols and upper layer protocols
Getting started on different operating systems: Sun Solaris, Linux, Windows 2000, and Windows XP
"The book is very thorough and explains the protocol from the packet level, which is a great way to learn about how a protocol works," says Hagen. "After explaining all the new and cool features of IPv6, I explain how IPv6 will grow into our networks peacefully with all the interoperability and transition mechanisms that have been carefully designed by the developers. I give readers an idea of how they can plan for deployment and at what point they should start using IPv6. Finally, the last chapter explains how to get started on different operating systems. It explains where to get IPv6 stacks, the IPv6 tools that are available, and shows some common tasks that can be done in a test environment."
Whether readers are ready to start implementing IPv6 today or are planning their strategy for the future, "IPv6 Essentials" provides the solid foundation they need to get started.
"IPv6 Essentials" is also available on Safari Books Online
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