A good part of Cisco Live was the discussion around the Internet of Everything, or IoE. Cisco believes that we have only networked about 1% of what will be networked. The remaining 99% represents devices that are yet to be networked. Notice that I said devices, not impoverished or under-connected nations. Although I’m sure that there is growth to be found in nations not fully connected, Cisco focused on devices. They believe that the reduction in size, increase in mobility and advent of new and interesting ways to use technology will create new and interesting opportunities for solutions around well-connected devices.
In the past, we have heard about the “Internet of Things”. However it seems that with this new nomenclature Cisco has projected implementations well beyond many previous expectations and projections. If we start to see anything that even resembles what Cisco is projecting, we have two interrelated issues that must be solved. Those issues are IP addressing and end-to-end connectivity.
With the current utilization of IPv4 addresses, many implementations require the use of network address translation (NAT). When devices need to communicate directly to other devices, these network translations become a challenge. The typical solution to this is to force applications into a client-server relationship. Should we see enough disparity between networked devices with native addressing and devices that are behind translating devices, the industry may finally get a much needed push toward IPv6.
As many have stated, IPv6 needs a killer app. I don’t fully subscribe to Cisco’s belief that 99% of the world’s devices that will be networked are still not connected. But let’s just imagine for a second that they missed it by roughly 80%. That would mean that IoE devices could account for new Internet connections that equal approximately 19 times that of currently connected devices. That’s a lot of new devices and would most certainly help to bring pervasive IPv6 connectivity into the mainstream.