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Industry divide emerging on IPv6

By Donna Donnowitz
May 11, 2011
In February, the international repository of IPv4 addresses ran dry. For many industry experts, this climax would be the event that spiraled into a sudden tumult of companies trying to transition to IPv6-compatible networks. Instead, it has lead to a clear divide in the industry. For some organizations, IPv6 really is not a big deal, and can be dealt with without significant investments. Other companies are recognizing IPv6 as a key opportunity for growth.

According to a recent ITBusiness Edge report, it is key that all businesses take IPv6 seriously and understand the ramifications of a network infrastructure unprepared for the new standard. However, the clear divide is making it difficult for companies to truly understand what IPv6 will mean for them. To explain this, the report compiles information from major industry sources.

A recent InfoWorld report explains the group that believes IPv6 is not something that requires a major shift in infrastructure. This group believes that dependence on network address translation technology will carry businesses through the transition period and eventually negate the need to urgently deploy IPv6 systems. This group also sees IPv6 as an economic parasite that will drain resources but not deliver revenue.

ITBusiness Edge reports that this camp may be able to get away with relying on NAS technology, but could face major challenges if something goes wrong. IPv6 migration is an arduous process and an error with the NAS system could be problematic since IPv6 cannot be implemented quickly, the report said.

The other side of the IPv6 divide, according to ITBusiness Edge, is companies that see IPv6 as an important technological migration and want to use it to generate profits. This group is summed up by a Network Computing report. According to the report, many businesses see IPv6 as a major challenge that will require substantial infrastructure upgrades. However, these upgrades will support new technologies and service opportunities that will create new revenue. If this group is correct, companies adopting IPv6 could gain a competitive advantage.

In many cases, IPv6 adoption could take a few years before it is completed across the industry. A recent itBusiness report explains that many businesses are taking vastly divergent paths to IPv6, but they all need to recognize the urgency of migrating to the new protocol. While technologies, such as NAS, will support IPv6, they will not let companies enjoy the performance and security advantages of the new standard.


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