IPv6 Support Required for All IP-Capable Nodes

This RFC 6540 was published in 2012.


Given the global lack of available IPv4 space, and limitations in IPv4 extension and transition technologies, this document advises that IPv6 support is no longer considered optional.
It also cautions that there are places in existing IETF documents where the term "IP" is used in a way that could be misunderstood by implementers as the term "IP" becomes a generic that can mean IPv4 + IPv6, IPv6-only, or IPv4-only, depending on context and application.

RFC 6540 introduction

IP version 4 (IPv4) has served to connect public and private hosts all over the world for over 30 years.
However, due to the success of the Internet in finding new and innovative uses for IP networking, billions of hosts are now connected via the Internet and require unique addressing.
This demand has led to the exhaustion of the IANA global pool of unique IPv4 addresses [IANA-EXHAUST], and will be followed by the exhaustion of the free pools for each Regional Internet Registry (RIR), the first of which is APNIC [APNIC-EXHAUST].
While transition technologies and other means to extend the lifespan of IPv4 do exist, nearly all of them come with trade-offs that prevent them from being optimal long-term solutions when compared with deployment of IP version 6 (IPv6) as a means to allow continued growth on the Internet.
See [RFC6269] and [NAT444-IMPACTS] for some discussion on this topic.

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