Thursday, June 16, 2011
Experts cautious about IPv6 success
World IPv6 Day was a clear success. Many users switched to the protocol for the day, a satisfactory number of websites participated and few major problems have been reported. However, a number of industry experts warn that World IPv6 Day's success should be taken with a grain of salt and not considered a sure sign that the world is ready for IPv6.
In a recent InformationWeek report, Amar Khan, vice president of IP Services at infrastructure provider Internap, warned that World IPv6 Day was a "transient event." He said Internap's networks saw a 25-fold spike in IPv6 traffic on its own networks during the day, but everything went back to normal at day's end. Khan told the news source the relatively small scale of World IPv6 Day may have been the reason behind its success, and said similar ease should not be expected when the whole world begins switching to the new address protocol.
Khan told the news source major problems will likely occur when mainstream IPv6 adoption takes place because IPv4 and IPv6 are not compatible but will need to coexist while IPv4 addresses remain active. This is especially challenging because IPv6 requires an end-to-end network upgrade, Khan said, and many companies are less than thrilled about updating their entire infrastructure for a technology that may not create any revenue. As a result, he said it may take up to five years before IPv6 transmissions represent even 5 percent of all internet traffic.
While businesses and developers may stall as long as they can on IPv6 deployment, Khan told the news source that migrating to the new protocol will eventually be unavoidable.
"Content and application vendors will get to a point where they can't scale any longer with IPv4, even using NAT," Khan told InformationWeek.
However, Khan said the point when network address translation and other tools cannot slow IPv6 adoption may be as many as five years away.
Khan is not the only industry expert still wary about IPv6 migration. In a recent TechNewsWorld report, Laura DiDio, principal analyst for the ITIC, said World IPv6 Day was a clear success. However, she warned that most businesses will not adapt for IPv6 until it becomes a necessity, while others will wait until problems actually come. This will lead to hurried IPv6 migration and major techical problems on a number of networks, she told the news source.