How IPv6 is enabling the next generation of IoT

How IPv6 is enabling the next generation of IoT Timothy Winters is a Senior Executive, Software and IP Networking, at the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL). He works with companies from all over the world to develop broad-based, flexible testing strategies to cost effectively meet network interoperability requirements for the Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6), Software Defined Networking (SDN), Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), Routing, and Home Networking. Timothy is the United States Government IPv6 (USGv6) and IPv6 Ready Logo technical lead for the UNH-IOL. In this role, he oversees various aspects in testing of IPv6 technology, deals with various multi-vendor IPv6 testing scenarios and acts as a liaison between students and vendors during device testing and development. He was instrumental in the UNH-IOL’s designation as an ISO-17025 USGv6 accredited laboratory. Timothy has more than 15 years of experience as a UNH-IOL leader and his involvement with cutting edge technologies has led to outstanding achievement. He is an expert in routing protocols: Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), and Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM), as well helping deploy the Moonv6 network in the early days of IPv6 as a connectivity specialist and deployment advisor. Passionate about innovation, Timothy has taken the lead for the IPv6 Forum’s IPv6 Ready Logo Programs. In addition, Timothy assisted with ISOC World IPv6 Launch by creating the criteria for home networking equipment manufactures to participate. Tim's Recent activities include developing an IPv6 Ready for IoT, OpenFlow testing, SDN Interoperability, and co-authoring DHCPv6 updates for the IETF. His ongoing collaboration with industry forums including the North American IPv6 Task Force, IPv6 Forum, IPv6 Ready Logo Committee, Open Networking Foundation, IPSO, CEA and SIP Forum demonstrates his dedication and persistence in developing new standards, as well as assisting commercial services providers, network equipment vendors and government agencies cost effectively speed go-to-market time for products. Timothy holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of New Hampshire, Durham.


In January this year, the University of New Hampshire Interoperability Lab (UNH-IOL) moved into a new building, allowing the UNH-IOL to better monitor the building systems including HVAC and the backup power generator.  As a networking lab, we are always looking for ways to automate our systems to reduce the need for human intervention and maintenance.

This interconnecting of physical devices, vehicles, buildings, and embedded devices is the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT doesn’t just apply to a world class networking lab; recently, walking around my dad’s house I realised he too was enjoying the benefits of IoT. His house contains many devices that interface with his phone or cloud services. The thermostat, hot water heater, car, and TV were giving him the most up-to-date information and control. He is an accountant by trade and enjoys being able to track and “account” for things with the up-to-date statistics. When making his next purchase he looks for items that will give him this ability. These are the types of user experience both a builder and consumer are looking for today.

Devices and applications are dependent on the need to communicate to give users the best experience. According to Gartner there will be 13 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020. That’s an increase of 8 billion devices from today, which is tripling the amount of devices on the Internet. Areas of potential growth include industrial, consumer, and enterprises. All different types of networks being built today need to plan to allow for growth in the network to accommodate the increase in devices.

Internet Protocol (IP) is a building block for devices being able to communicate. It allows information to be addressed making global internet connectivity a reality. IPv4 was the original Internet addressing architecture that utilises 32-bit addresses. This addressing scheme served the Internet well for 40 years, but recently it’s been hard to get a new IPv4 address. In North America, Europe and Asia there are no more IPv4 addresses available.

The good news is that the Internet community has been planning for this for the past 20 years. The next version, IPv6, supports 128 bit addressing, which is a much bigger address space. When first learning about IPv6 it was explained to me that if all the IPv4 addresses filled up a golf ball, IPv6 addresses would be the volume of the Sun. With the larger address space and the diminishing number of IPv4 addresses, moving to IPv6 addressing has become inevitable.

By design IPv6 is not backwards compatible with IPv4, so devices that connect to the Internet need additional code to support IPv6. When IPv6 was first available there was great concern about devices being able to properly implement IPv6 and interoperate with each other. The IPv6 Forum stepped up and asked networking labs all over the world to collaborate on creating a test specification that would help implementations of IPv6.  They decided to create the IPv6 Ready Logo Program, to demonstrate both conformance and interoperability of IPv6 instances.  The program helps assure users that IPv6 will work on the Internet. Since the launch of the program in the early 2000s, the Forum has given out the IPv6 Ready Core Logo to roughly 2,000 different devices. This number continues to grow every day to meet the usage of IPv6 on the Internet. The latest measurements have IPv6 traffic at 13% of all Internet traffic. The IPv6 Ready Logo program has helped give users confidence in the products they are purchasing and deploying.

The IPv6 Ready Logo program will continue to aid in the deployment of IPv6. The IPv6 Ready Logo Committee recently announced a new logo, the IPv6 Ready IoT Logo. This new Logo will focus on small constrained devices’ support for IPv6. It will cover all the “MUSTs” from the IPv6 core standards, but also add privacy addressing and DNS server configuration. These additions will help address the growing concern about privacy online. Looking to the future, the committee will add IPv6 Logos for security protocols demonstrating interoperability when encryption and authentication is enabled.

IPv6 gives the additional addressing space to continue to enable end-to-end communications on the Internet. As IoT is the concept of many devices communicating with each other, they are a natural fit together creating an experience that will keep the user connected and happy in this IoT age. in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this and sharing their IoT use-cases? Attend the IoT Tech Expo World Series events with upcoming shows in Silicon Valley, London and Amsterdam to learn more.

The show is co-located with the AI & Big Data Expo, Cyber Security & Cloud Expo and Blockchain Expo so you can explore the entire ecosystem in one place.

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