Thursday, August 11, 2011
IPv6 urgent in the data center
While most of Asia is out of new IPv4 addresses and ready to transition to IPv6, most North American companies still have a year or two before the new address protocol becomes necessary. However, a recent Data Center Journal report explained that companies should begin the transition to IPv6 in their data centers soon and not wait until IPv4 addresses run dry.
Owen DeLong, IPv6 evangelist and director of the professional services division for Hurricane Electric, told the news source that part of the impetus behind IPv6 adoption in the data center stems from the many benefits operators and managers can gain by deploying the new address protocol.
"There are a number of features in IPv6 that can benefit data centers, but clearly, vast address space is definitely the most significant," DeLong told the news source. "[IPv6 can support] cleaner, simpler IPSec; better aggregation of networks and the ability to plan for growth more effectively; faster [packet] rates enabled by a simpler, more consistent header; and more."
DeLong told Data Center Journal that most data centers do not truly need to begin IPv6 migration yet. However, the dwindling number of available IPv4 addresses means that more companies and service providers will begin making the transition soon. For data centers that often host services for other organizations, transitioning to IPv6 should happen soon so the facility can support the technologies used by its clients, according to DeLong.
Overall, DeLong said most data center clients will begin considering IPv6 support as a mandatory data center service by the end of the year. He told the news source this means data center operators need to begin making the transition quickly or risk falling behind competitors and losing critical business.
To accomplish this, DeLong told the Data Center Journal companies should follow a few basic steps that will help them get ready for the new address protocol. To begin, data center operators need to assess network software and hardware and start making upgrades as needed. From there, data center managers need to undertake more advanced and detailed IPv6-related tasks that involve monitoring the network and establishing peering and transit sessions.
While IPv6 migration in the data center is just beginning to gain major momentum, a recent Infonetics Research report found most telecom service providers are already well on their way to deploying the new address protocol and are well ahead of companies in other sectors.