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Service providers advancing IPv6 deployment

By Donna Donnowitz
July 29, 2011
Internet service providers are, not surprisingly, leading the IPv6 charge. According to a recent Infonetics Research study, service providers are progressing quickly through IPv6 migration, and most are already prepared to handle IPv6 when another large portion of IPv4 addresses runs dry during 2012.

The survey found a majority of service providers are ready for IPv6, and many are taking advantage of the transition to deploy new hardware and technologies throughout their networks. The survey found a significant number of service providers are adding caching capabilities to routers and switches. This helps the network handle the growing amount of video traffic, according to the study. The survey also found approximately 50 percent of service providers will have deployed content delivery networks by 2013. Currently, just 38 percent of respondents are using CDNs.

Michael Howard, principal analyst and co-founder of Infonetics Research, said 83 percent of those surveyed are either currently deploying IPv6 or plan to do so within a year.

"With IPv4 addresses running out in some places in the world by 2012, and as many as 15 billion machine-to-machine (M2M) devices expected to be connected to the internet by 2015, each needing its own IP address, IPv6 migration has become a front-and-center issue for carriers," said Howard.

Beyond dealing with IPv6, Howard also emphasized the importance of caching technology as a solution to the growing amount of video traffic within service provider networks. He explained that most carriers plan to use caching on their switches and develop ways to move routers closer to the end user. This will improve network performance and help make the most of available bandwidth, supporting the growing trend toward video in a wide variety of network deployments.

While caching is emerging as significant, the survey's overall emphasis was on service providers moving to IPv6. Overall, the survey explained that service providers throughout the world are quickly moving to adapt their networks to support the new IPv6 protocol.

For businesses hoping to follow service providers into rapid IPv6 deployment, it is important to make sure every department in the company has a part in planning the network changes, Network World reports. IPv6 is primarily a networking and IT-related adjustment, but it impacts every element of an operation because it completely changes how devices communicate with each other. As a result, every part of an organization needs to understand how IPv6 migration will impact it and be able to prepare accordingly, according to the report.


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