The great transition to IPv6 has begun

IPv6 upgrades can come in bunches if companies aren't willing to fully commit.

By Donna Donnowitz
October 21, 2015

Tech experts have debated the right time to move from IPv4 to IPv6 for years, and it seems like no so long ago that efforts to make the transition were written off as unnecessary expenses. However, it's recently become more difficult to ignore the issue all together. A major factor influencing this shift is the rapidly declining availability of IPv4 addresses. According to The Register, the North American supply of IPv4 devices has now been completely exhausted. Only companies with the means to acquire IPv4 addresses from a third-party sources will be able to operate a new website on the existing protocols going forward.

This isn't the only milestone highlighting a new perspective on IPv6 across multiple industries. Several major companies have begun their own transitions to the new protocol. As a result, businesses across the country may soon find themselves interacting with the new protocol whether they like it or not. Further investigation into the status of IPv6 adoption across the globe will provide businesses with greater insight into how soon a transition is absolutely necessary.

"Telecommunications in the U.S. have embraced IPv6 technology."

U.S. telecoms set the pace for IPv6 adoption
Telecommunications is one major industry in the U.S. that has embraced IPv6 technology and focused efforts and resources into preparing for the change. According to Investor's Business Daily, an Akamai Technologies report showed that over 70 percent of Internet requests handled by Verizon Communications in the second quarter of 2015 were done so over the IPv6 protocol. Rivals like Comcast and Time Warner Cable saw in the neighborhood of 40 percent of Internet requests routed through IPv6 compatible infrastructure. Considering these cable providers also supply a majority of the nation's consumers with their Internet connection, it won't be long before IPv6 reaches the ubiquity of its predecessor.

It's worth noting that the BBC reported a similar trend occurring in England. BT, Britain's largest telecommunications, has already converted over a million of its customers to the new protocol. The telecom giant plans to complete it's full switchover by the end of 2016. Considering BT's global influence, it wouldn't be a surprise if these updates put pressure on American telecoms to speed up their own updates.

Apple's new smartphone offers greater exposure for the new protocol
It's not uncommon for niche innovations to ride the coattails of more established technologies. Apple is providing this opportunity to IPv6, in a sense, with its latest iOS 9 mobile operating system, said PC World. The platform is programmed to recognize IPv6 connections as readily as IPv4, and the change will likely lead to a significant uptick in IPv6 traffic.Considering the popularity of the Apple iPhone, the company timed its transition from one protocol to the next flawlessly. With IPv4 on its last legs, selling millions of new mobile devices without IPv6 functionality would have set the tech giant up for more troubles down the road.

Dualstack environments deliver the best of new and old protocols.Dualstack environments deliver the best of new and old protocols.

Dualstack environments act as a bridge from one era to the next
Preparing for IPv6 does not require a company to perform a full overhaul. A few adjustments and upgrades make it possible for companies to operate dualstack environments, running new and old protocols in parallel. According to IT Business Edge, this solution will appeal to small and medium-sized companies struggling with the cost of a full IPv6 overhaul. Adding new pieces of infrastructure that streamline the data center's performance and just happen to be IPv6 compatible, such as a high-performance serial to Ethernet device server, will help to defray these costs via operational improvements.

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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