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2012 could be the year of IPv6 migration

By Donna Donnowitz
July 18, 2011
IPv6 migration is critical for businesses, as global registries are rapidly running out of IPv4 addresses to hand out and users deploying IPv6-enabled devices cannot access IPv4 sites. However, IPv6 does not inherently create revenue opportunities or help foster growth in enterprise settings. Therefore, the major question surrounding IPv6 adoption has not been one of whether companies should adopt IPv6, but when they need to migrate to the address protocol.

A recent Network World report answered the key timing question by identifying 2012 as the year when businesses will need to begin switching over to the IPv6 protocol. 2012 is the year of choice because few internet users are actually using IPv6 currently, but many global registries are close to running out of IPv4 addresses and will be deploying IPv6 in higher quantities during the next calendar year.

As a result, the report said companies that begin the migration process now will probably be ready to switch to IPv6 sometime during the first half of 2012. Businesses that wait too long to adapt to the new protocol and do not make the switch during the next year could be left behind as new devices and broadband subscribers will not be able to access their sites, industry expert Alain Fiocco told the news source.

Fiocco told Network World that 2012 will be the period when the industry begins to see noteworthy percentages of traffic converting to IPv6, making the migration more critical for many businesses.

Industry expert Greg Hankins told the news source the early signs for IPv6's future were displayed during World IPv6 Day, when most participants found success deploying the new protocol on a larger scale.

"I don't think I've seen a single horror story or really negative implementation experience from anyone, which speaks a lot about the maturity of IPv6 and the maturity of IPv6 implementations by various switching, routing and appliance vendors," Hankins told Network World.

Deploying IPv6 can be a long and complicated process. According to another Network World report, businesses should begin the process by assessing their current hardware and software systems to identify their compatibility with the protocol and figure out where upgrades may be necessary to support the new protocol. From there, businesses should focus on developing a clear plan to incrementally upgrade infrastructure to meet IPv6 needs.


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