LAN IPv4 had been anticipated for a very

LAN upgrade


IPv6 is the
next step from IPv4. The demand for an alternative to IPv4 had been anticipated
for a very long time, as early as 1988 when Vin Cerf said that “we should be
worried about this IPv4 exhaustion and should be thinking about how to
expand the available space” (Pickard,2017).

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Cerf was referring to the fact that IPv4 has a limited number
of IP addresses available, “The long anticipated exhaustion of the
Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) IPv4 global address pool occurred in
February of 2011. Since that time, four of the five regional Internet
registries (RIRs) have also exhausted their IPv4 address pools, leaving the
African Network Information Centre as the only RIR with a pool of IPv4
addresses remaining for general allocation.” The main reason why a move from
IPv4 to IPv6 will occur is due to this fact.


Some of the advantages of switching to IPv6 are that it has
way more IP address than we will ever need, it has shorter TCP
connections(Bajpai,2017) and, theoretically, eliminates the need for NAT,
reinstating end-to-end connectivity. (Reddy,2012). The support for IPv6 is also
increasing, and increasing quicker in recent years and percentage growth of
IPv4 is slower than IPv6 right now(Pickard,2017)


However, there are some drawbacks too. While Nikkhah, Guérin(2015) and Pickard(2017) show that the usage of IPv6 has
been increasing recently, it still is in a minority, for example only 3% of
users were accessing the services of Google using IPv6 in 2014.


One possible reason is the cost
of upgrading infrastructure.  The content
available in IPv6 is fairly limited, users tend to stick to default
configuration of host machines, some of which tend to favour IPv4 and IPv6 by
default,  and data shows that IPv6
performance is roughly similar or in some cases worse than IPv4(Pickard,2017)(Bajpai,2017)
(Nikkhah, Guérin, 2015). When all these factors are combined together the
cost of upgrading infrastructure for ISP and companies may seem a unnecessary


Another drawback is the security
issues that relate to IPv6. As Nicolls (2016) points out that investigators are
familiar with IPv4 but not with IPv6, so it will be harder for criminals to be
tracked down, not to mention the cost of training investigators to be familiar with
IPv6. Another issue that Nicolls raises is that many firewalls are not configured
to filter IPv6 packets, instead the only work on IPv4 packets, so systems may
be exposed to IPv6 attacks.


To summarise, a switch to  IPv6 is necessary due to the limited IP
addresses available and all studies agree that use of IPv6 is increasing, but
progress is being stalled by the low demand, and high expense, for upgrading
the infrastructure and the training and solutions the security issues that the
switch requires.


To fully switch to IPv6, the
organisation should make an inventory of equipment that does not support IPv6
and decide whether to replace or discard them. Another factor to consider is
that as IPv6 technology matures that cost of infrastructure will decrease, so a
decision must be made to decide whether to delay, and upgrade for a larger user
base, or upgrade now(Nikkhah, Guérin, 2015).


 As the IPv6 internet amount is not big at this
point, so the company must decide whether to go ahead with the full switch or
use dual-stack, where hosts can receive both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses. The
company could also consider using tunnelled IPv6 connections, that let the IPv4
machines connect to IPv6 internet, the IPv6 packets are packaged into IPv4
packets by customer’s router and are unpackaged by a tunnel; broker that can
then connect to IPv6 address (Nicolls,2016).




Virtual local area network(VLAN)
is essentially treated like a subnet of its own. The host on the same VLAN can
send packets to each other but can not communicate outside their VLAN, for
inter VLAN communication a router is required(Pal, G P, Pal S,2013) (Singh, A k, Singh S,2012).


In a LAN, data is transmitted to
all hosts, if two individual were to send data simultaneously a collision could
cause all data transmitted to be lost, and the original data would have to be
send again. Furthermore, in a LAN all parts must be in the same physical
location, which can become a problem in large LANs and will lead to busy
traffic on the network. (Mohammed F. Alsharekh,2016) (Alimi, I A, Mufutau, I A,2015).For VLAN the nodes do not
need to be in the same physical location but instead be grouped by some other
means. VLANs can also be used to divide a single physical network into multiple
networks(Singh, A k, Singh S,2012).


LAN has a fundamental security
issue. While it may reduce operational cost ,minimised downtime, and share information
reliably over the network, the security issue that remains is that sensitive
information can not be segregated to only reach certain hosts, while it can be
done by physically separating the network, but it is not cost effective and may
become difficult to manage as network grows in size, the solution to this
problem is VLAN. (Alimi, I A, Mufutau, I A,2015)  


VLAN is switched network that is
separated logically based on such as workgroup or  application requirement. As all parts of a
single VLAN do not have to be in a single physical location the network
administrators can manage the network without significant changes to infrastructure
required. (Alimi, I A, Mufutau, I A,2015)

VLANS can be either static or
dynamic. Static VLANs have each port manually assigned to the VLAN, which is
more secure but it has to be changed if the host is moved physically. The
alternative is dynamic VLANs, in which the port is assigned based on MAC address,
protocols and applications. (Pal, G P,
Pal S,2013)



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