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IPv6 in automation engineering - new horizons in communication technology

Guest article by Reiner Plonka, System Manager, Siemens AG

Distant horizons. We are in the year 2013 and are finally able to address and communicate with all devices using a uniform Internet protocol... A vision, a nightmare or is this already reality?

IPv6 data traffic is increasing

The potential for addressing IP nodes with the current Internet protocol v4 has reached its limits. New services and more nodes can only be reached using the new Internet Protocol v6 (IPv6). The operating systems have already been able to handle this for many years, but IPv6 has not yet succeeded in making the real "breakthrough" in user data traffic. However, this breakthrough is now about to happen.

This is evident, for example, from a large Internet node such as the Amsterdam Internet Exchange. Average IPv6 data traffic there is currently still in the range of 0.5 percent as compared to IPv4. However, IPv6 data traffic has increased more than three-fold since May 2012 – from 2 Gbps (Gigabits per second) peaks to up to 6.6 Gbps. Consequently, it is now time to offer appropriate support for automation technology.

Free white paper on IPv6 in automation technology

In the white paper “IPv6 in automation technology”, we describe the basic configuration of an IPv6 address and the differences to IPv4, and we provide practical examples of how an IPv6 network can be set up using Siemens products. These examples cover all aspects related to applications: from connection of existing IPv4 plants via a Simatic NET OPC server to direct data communication of a CP 1543-1 with an IPv6 FTP server in IT. Simply read the white paper and try it out for yourself!

We hope you enjoy reading and look forward to receiving your comments!

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