Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) is nearly thirty-five years old. This critical part of the Internet’s infrastructure is approaching its end of life, as the American Registry for Internet Numbers began allocating its last remaining /8 block of IPv4 addresses on April 23, 2014. This won’t have an immediate impact on the way people use the Internet, but both dwindling IPv4 address availability and the requirement to start using IPv6 are impacting the way Federal Agencies and commercial businesses use the Internet.

The Defense Research and Engineering Network (DREN) started using IPv6 in June, 2003, when the DREN was designated as the first DoD IPv6 pilot network by the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Networks and Information Integration)/DoD Chief Information Officer [ASD(NII)/DoD CIO]. By July, 2005, the entire DREN wide-area network (WAN) was routinely supporting end-to-end IPv6 traffic, sites were supporting IPv6 along with Internet Protocol (IP) version 4 (IPv4), and selected applications were IPv6 enabled. DREN has provided it users with servers, services and client applications using IPv6 since then. As the Internet transition from IPv4 to IPv6 plays out, DREN will continue providing a secure, high-performance infrastructure using both IPv4 and IPv6.

A first time visitor to the IPv6 Knowledge Base might want to explore the Initial Introduction article in the General Information section and the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section in the column to the left, and then look at the Overview articles in the General Information and Deployment sections. Someone just starting to think about deploying IPv6 or in the early phases of a deployment might want to explore the Before you Begin article in the Deployment section.

Additional IPv6 Information: