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IPv6 finally on the horizon

By Donna Donnawitz
May 2, 2012
On June 6, the second iteration of World IPv6 Day will take place, but this time, many of the participants will keep IPv6 turned on, marking a major milestone in the internet's development. According to a recent ZDNet report, the change is one that will not have a major affect on consumers or even small businesses, but IT professionals and larger companies need to not only be aware of the impending rise of IPv6, but start doing something about it.

The news source explained that there is nothing wrong with IPv4, except for the fact that the number of IP addresses available through the new standard are on the brink of running out. As a result, internet service providers will soon begin distributing IPv6-based IP addresses to replace IPv4. For the average consumer and small business, they will likely be able to use their current hardware for at least a few more years, probably until 2020, until they need to think about replacing it in order to support IPv6. However, businesses face a far different circumstance because they tend to buy hardware in bundles and need to make sure their data center systems are capable of handling IPv6 requests from users outside the network, such as customers trying to access the company website.

According to the news source, getting used to IPv6 is kind of like becoming accustomed to a new car. It may be extremely different under the hood, may even have a few things that really feel different, but in the end, you still use it the same way. Only the mechanics need to know the inner workings of the new machinery. Similarly, IPv6 won't change the internet much for end users, but businesses hosting their own websites, web applications and other programs based online will need to respond to the IPv6 shift by not only updating their systems, but making sure their staff is trained to support the protocol.

While businesses may have time before IPv6 becomes mainstream, losing potential sales opportunities because IPv6 users cannot access the website is something no company wants to deal with. Furthermore, IPv6 and IPv4 will be active simultaneously for quite some time, meaning companies need to prepare the network to host both protocols. This represents a significant challenge and businesses may need to respond by moving quickly toward IPv6 adoption.

Perle’s serial to Ethernet converters connect serial based equipment across an Ethernet network. The Perle IOLAN range of Console Servers, Device Servers and Terminal Servers feature built-in support for IPv6 along with a broad range of authentication methods and encryption technologies.


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