We’ve been deep-diving into the slew of new features being released this summer for Cisco Meraki MS switches. Most of these enhancements expand functionality specifically for our Layer 3 models, but one feature that is available across both Layer 2 and Layer 3 families is our new IPv6 visibility.
Why care about IPv6?
To reach resources across the internet (and internally on local networks) devices need IP addresses. The most common implementation of addressing is a standard known as IPv4, which uses a unique, 32-bit number for every internet-accessible device. The problem is that, with only 32 bits of addressing space, IPv4 can’t support more than 4.3 billion devices—a huge number, but insufficient for the myriad mobile gadgets, laptops, smart appliances, etc. that need internet connectivity.
Enter IPv6, a standard using 128-bit addresses. IPv6 allows for 2128 unique device addresses, which some have calculated is enough to
“assign an IPv6 address to every atom on the surface of the earth, and still have enough addresses left to do another 100+ Earths. It isn’t remotely likely that we’ll run out of IPV6 addresses at any time in the future.”
So, IPv6 provides a substantial buffer for years to come, which is why the world is slowly transitioning to using it as the default internet addressing scheme.
IPv6 in Meraki MS switches
Meraki MS switches could always pass IPv6 traffic, but now customers can view IPv6 clients and monitor their application usage in dashboard. Simply navigate to either Monitor > clients to see a network-wide view including IPv6 clients, or drill down into an individual client itself:
Network-wide visibility into IPv6 clients and application usage.
Drilling down into individual IPv6 clients provides more granular detail about traffic flows.
As IPv6 becomes de rigueur, we’ll be adding more functionality around it. Since IPv6 visibility is a feature in our upcoming summer switch update, it will be pushed out automatically to customers. Please send us your thoughts and check out our Meraki MS page for more details on switches and MS features.