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Hindsight's perspective on World IPv6 Day

By Donna Donnowitz
September 1, 2011
World IPv6 Day, an event held to evaluate how the new address protocol will function when a larger number of users and telecom providers are deploying it, was deemed a rousing success shortly after it was held. However, a recent MicroScope report said now, three months after World IPv6 Day, is a better time to evaluate its success. With input from Arbor Networks, the report concluded that World IPv6 Week may be needed to evaluate the protocol's true potential.

According to the news source, World IPv6 Day was indeed as successful as many initially thought. However, the key fact that it uncovered was that the world is still not ready for the new protocol. The report explained that World IPv6 Day showed that IPv6 can be deployed successfully on a large scale. However, most ISPs, consumers and businesses are not yet ready to transition to the new protocol on a more global scale.

Due to the need to increase global IPv6 readiness, the report said service providers and businesses need to begin the migration process by deploying IPv6 on the access edge of the networks. This is key because companies need to be able to accept incoming IPv6 transmissions from consumers and business users that are using IPv6-enabled devices. Otherwise, businesses will be cut off from access to these users and could lose prospective customers.

The report said IPv6 migration will not be a complete overhaul {sounds odd}. IPv6 is unlikely to replace IPv4 completely because the older protocol will still be used by a variety of users for quite some time. Furthermore, companies will likely use network address translation and other similar technologies to provide a short-term solution to supporting IPv6 without completely replacing their infrastructure to support the new protocol. As a result, IPv4 will likely play a powerful role in networks for quite some time and businesses will need to migrate in a way that supports IPv6 alongside IPv4, according to the report.

While migrating to IPv6 is critical for businesses, actually deploying IPv6-enabled devices may not be wise. Early studies have shown that progress still needs to be made to optimize IPv6 infrastructure, and the protocol often creates performance-related problems. As a result, users may want to turn off IPv6. According to a recent InformationWeek report, some Mac OS X deployments have IPv6 automatically enabled, and users may need to shut it off to optimize performance.


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