SAIX prepares for IPv6

Candice Jones
By Candice Jones, ITWeb online telecoms editor
Johannesburg, 08 Feb 2008

The South African Internet Exchange (SAIX) is slowly rolling-out Internet protocol version six (IPv6) addresses to local customers.

"SAIX has been allocated IPv6 addresses and a very limited number of trial connections are in use," says Telkom's technical product development executive Steve Lewis.

For the time being, SAIX will primarily tunnel IPv6 through IPv4, its predecessor. The exchange has an IPv6 tunnel endpoint installed and connects to the IPv6 Internet, explains Lewis. "As demand grows, additional nodes will be IPv6-enabled."

SAIX says the listing of the new addresses on the South African root name server ( will make the deployment of the new protocol that much easier.

International Internet governance organisation, Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), added support for IPv6 on several international root name servers, this week. The protocol upgrade follows in the wake of a dwindling pool of Internet addresses, which allow computers across networks and the Internet to communicate.

IPv4 has been the primary method of technology communication for almost 10 years; however, the roughly 4.3 billion addresses available are rapidly running out.

According to Lewis, IANA predicts it will allocate the last available IPv4 address by 2011. "Now is the time to start planning support of IPv6 on networks and servers." New networks, especially large consumer deployments will in future only have IPv6 addresses available, he explains.

"Therefore, it is important for us to start providing IPv6 as well as IPv4 on servers so that future clients can connect," Lewis concludes.

Related stories:
Extreme makeover, Internet edition
ISPA elects new committee
WLAN survey shows lack of awareness