Monday, June 11, 2012
Businesses need IPv6, even if it isn''t for themselves
The corporate network may not need IPv6. Internal communications and delivery between the data center and various offices may not require any sort of IPv6 investment for quite some time. However, a recent Network Computing report said that this does not mean that organizations do not need to start implementing IPv6. Instead, it means that IPv6 migration should focus first on customer-facing content, which may need to be ready to handle the new address protocol soon.
World IPv6 Launch Day has passed, which means that many service and content providers have turned IPv6 on permanently, taking a major stride toward the internet's future. This move, at its core, does not affect the enterprise. But businesses are increasingly functioning as content providers in some way or another, making IPv6 a key consideration.
According to the news source, most corporate networks are focused inwardly. The use an MPLS/VPN foundation to allow for RFC 1918 IP address configurations to connect internal computers and network equipment to the data center, headquarters and branch offices. This setup allows organizations to, essentially, stretch their IPv4 addresses out for an extended period of time. As a result, moving to IPv6 may not seem like a priority to most organizations.
However, businesses are increasingly active on the web. As a result, the news source said many companies have a part of their structure that functions the same way that a content provider network works. As a result, organizations have to adapt that part of their network to support IPv6 or risk losing touch with customers who are deploying native IPv6 devices. Right now, that is not a major problem, but the internet is quickly moving in an IPv6-focused direction as IPv4 addresses run out and more mobile devices and networking solutions are sold with IPv6 addresses.
In the long-term scheme, businesses will have to move their internal systems to IPv6 as well. In the meantime, it is vital that organizations get their customer-facing content ready for the new address protocol. Some parts of the world have already run out of IPv4 addresses, while others are close. At the same time, taking shortcuts in IPv6 deployment is not advisable because it is such a prominent shift. Therefore, organizations need to get moving to ensure they are ready for the change to IPv6, which is already beginning to happen.
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