Monday, January 31, 2011
Transitioning to IPv6 provides myriad problems, report says
With IPv4 addresses close to running out and businesses scrambling to upgrade servers, networking devices and other components for the new protocol, organizations could face significant challenges whether they embrace the transition or ignore it, a recent PC World report said.
The major issue surrounding the new transition stems from the fact that IPv4 and IPv6 are not compatible. Therefore, consumers using an IPv6 internet connection cannot access an IPv4 website, the report said. Subsequently, businesses need to create systems capable of handling both protocols so consumers using either form of IP address can reach their website.
Jason Schiller, a senior Internet network engineer at Verizon Business, told PC World one of the greatest fears currently associated with the IPv6 transition is having all of the IP address' early adopters be essentially shut off from the internet while companies work to make the transition. Schiller said this issue could become a serious problem too, if companies continue on their current path of neglecting the IPv6 migration.
Glen Hunt of Current Analysis told the news source North America and Europe will be unlikely to be faced with significant numbers of users unable to access the internet. According to Hunt, there should be enough IP addresses to go around in these regions to extend IPv4's life cycle. He also cited large-scale network address translation systems, which are capable of bridging the gap between IPv6 and IPv4 as critical tools to make the transition possible.
However, Schiller, Hunt and other experts told PC World network address translation systems still have a number of issues that need to be resolved before they become a viable solution to support the impending transition period. They said NAT systems could create severe network bottlenecks and have trouble responding to denial of service attacks. NAT also creates new troubleshooting issues because the technology makes it more difficult to recognize networking problems.
In response to the depletion of IPv4 addresses, internet service provider Andres and Arnold ISP have announced plans to make IPv6 addresses standard in their service offerings. Previously, the company made the new protocol optional.
The company said current conditions make it clear that businesses and consumers need to begin transitioning to the new protocol in order to be ready for the large-scale switch to IPv6 on the horizon.