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Technological innovations making IPv6 critical

By Donna Donnowitz
June 28, 2011
Healthcare, traffic control and other public sector industries are all being revolutionized by mobile computing technologies. However, these advances could be derailed if organizations do not work to deploy IPv6 infrastructure to support the growing number of connected devices, Public CIO reports.

According to the report, public sector organizations are finding increasingly innovative ways to deploy advanced technologies to improve productivity and efficiency. However, all of these technologies depend heavily on a constant internet connection and devices with their IP addresses. Therefore, IPv6 will need to be a key consideration as agencies move forward.

The report said IPv4 addresses will likely run dry in the United States within a year, though other experts are more optimistic and give IPv4 a few more years before it runs out. However, other parts of the world have a much shorter IPv4 prognosis, and the report aptly pointed out that IPv6 infrastructure will be key to supporting incoming IPv6 transmissions. Therefore, companies need to work quickly to deploy IPv6 regardless of whether they expect to run out of IPv4 addresses soon or not.

While IPv6 is clearly an important technological trend, the report said organizations should not follow either of the two major groups leading IPv6 adoption. One of those groups is the alarmists. These experts emphasize the urgency of IPv6 adoption and recommend a somewhat frantic adoption of the new protocol. The other group wants to ignore IPv6 adoption altogether, and instead favors waiting until it starts to impact enterprise functions before making a switch.

The report said companies need to fall somewhere in between. They need to immediately begin working toward IPv6, but that process should start with research and planning to determine the best way to support both IPv4 and IPv6 infrastructure. From there, businesses should begin implementing IPv6 systems with an emphasis on outward-facing systems before altering their internal network equipment for the protocol.

IPv6 adoption is a complicated process that will primarily emphasize internal upgrades and not revenue creation. However, migrating to the standard is still an important strategic move for businesses. In a recent InformationWeek report, industry expert Amar Khan said the transition to IPv6 will likely be a long and complex process that takes years to fully realize. Khan explained IPv6 may still make up just five to 10 percent of all IP addresses five years from now.


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