RealTime IT News

Verio Unveils Next-Generation Internet Network Services

Verio, a subsidiary of NTT Communications, today announced availability of what it describes as "the first ever large-scale Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) commercial offering in North America."

The company began gearing up for the rollout in June when it announced a pre-commercial IPv6 service through five POPs in the San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington D.C. areas.

The commercial NTT/Verio IPv6 Gateway Services is available immediately to all customers through direct sales channels or through the viaVerio Partner Program, the company reports.

Verio IPv6 Gateway Services, which will be delivered over the company's new global IPv6 backbone, consists of three different services, according to the company:
  • IPv6 Native Service offers customers a dedicated IPv6 connection
  • IPv6 Tunneling Service offers IPv6 services by using an existing IPv4 connection.
  • IPv6 Dual Stack Services is designed to deliver a balance of both native and tunneling IPv6 services.

Most likely customers for IPv6 services include Internet service providers, universities, research institutions, application providers and companies that focus on wireless technologies.

IPv6 paves the way for "killer applications" such as more efficient peer-to-peer computing, said Cody Christman, director of product engineering at Verio. "You don't have the NAT [Network Address Translation] issues to deal with, for example."

IPv6 offers more address space than IPv4 (128-bit addressing vs. 32-bit) and auto-configuration of IP addresses. The new protocal also provides native IP-level, end-to-end security through integration with the IPsec framework.

As more mobile devices drive demand for IP addresses skyward, IPv6's greater address space and auto-configuration capabilities will make it easier for mobile workers to plug into a network, Christman said. "You won't need an IT manager everytime you add a device."

While IPv6 promises to make life simpler for IT departments, "end users may not know, or care, that they are using IPv6, just like they don't care that they are using TCP/IP now," Christman said. Because IPv6 and IPv4 will co-exist for several years, enterprises don't need to spend a lot of money to begin taking advantage of the new Internet network layer protocol. "IPv6 will require some training for IT staffs, but not much of an investment in terms of capital overlay," Christman said.

Of course, you could argue that the expanded IP address space, auto-configuring capabilities and native security will have the biggest effect on consumers as home electronics become "intelligent devices," Christman said. "There are huge implications for home networks." Using a computer or mobile device, "I can preheat my oven, wash my dishes ... you need a lot more available addresses to do that. And you need security, so I don't preheat someone else's oven."

Dan Muse is executive editor of internet.com's Small Business Channel and EarthWeb's Networking & Communications Channel.