Tuesday, June 28, 2011
The IPv6 address protocol has the potential to dramatically change the data center landscape. Its impact goes well beyond network management in the data center, and will influence efforts for efficiency, facility management and monitoring.
Data Center Knowledge reports IPv6 migration is the successor to IPv4. Therefore, most consider it an issue for the network managers that make sure everything can stay afloat. While this may be the case in most business settings, the report said data centers provide unique conditions that bring IPv6 deployment outside the network management realm.
The report explained more data centers are using IP technology to support a diverse range of connected devices. This means anything from lighting infrastructure to HVAC systems to temperature monitoring sensors can have an IP address and be a key part of IPv6 migration.
IP-based maintenance and monitoring technologies could become key areas for IPv6 deployment because the waning number of IPv4 addresses will soon run down to the point that native IPv6 devices are deployed. When this occurs, data center managers will need to integrate the IPv6 maintenance and monitoring devices with their network infrastructure.
This could prove to be a major challenge as IPv4 and IPv6 are not inherently compatible. Therefore, organizations need to move quickly to begin implementing IPv6 infrastructure to make sure their data centers will still be able to operate effectively when their connected device installations are based on the new protocol, the report said.
For the most part, data center operators will use dual-stack technology to support both protocols, the report said. However, some IP-based devices will not function properly in a dual-stack setup. Data center managers need to closely analyze their current infrastructure, compare that to their future needs and identify the best way to support IPv4 and IPv6 while maintaining efficiency, according to the report.
While IP-based devices provide a unique IPv6 challenge in the data center, most facilities will also face traditional IPv6 migration issues. This is especially valid for colocation and hosting providers, a recent MSPMentor report said. Colocation and hosting providers need to be among the leaders in IPv6 migration because it can give them a competitive advantage. As more companies deploy IPv6 infrastructure, they will expect their colocation and service providers to support their initiative by providing IPv6-ready hosting options, the report said.