Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Understanding the myths around IPv6
The period of migration to the IPv6 protocol is leaving many businesses confused as to what they need to do to prepare for the new standard. Upgrading network infrastructure, downloading new firmware and other procedures can help a business get IPv6-ready, but it is important to understand some of the myths surrounding the standard and avoid falling prey to the misconceptions.
Speaking to Computer Dealer News, industry expert James McCloskey identified a few key IPv6 myths that businesses should not believe. One of the first things many businesses need to clarify is the urgency of IPv6. McCloskey explains that the conception that IPv6 is just around the corner and businesses that do not move to the standard immediately will be left behind is a myth. Instead, IPv6 should be treated as urgent, but not immediate.
Therefore, McCloskey said businesses need to begin working to get IPv6 ready, but should not panic and begin a complete network infrastructure overhaul before taking stock of what they already have in place. To begin, businesses need to understand their current infrastructure, he told the news source. Companies that have refreshed their network equipment in the past few years probably have IPv6-capable infrastructure in place and simply need to make the firmware updates necessary to support the protocol. Older equipment will probably need to be replaced.
While IPv6 is an urgent but non-immediate issue, McCloskey told CDN that infrastructure is not the only thing that should be developed quickly to support the standard. Businesses need to start developing IPv6 strategies right away, he said, especially when addressing security.
McCloskey told the news source most network security systems are designed specifically for IPv4. Therefore, firewalls and other similar tools may not work properly on IPv6. Managing configurations to ensure proper operation when using IPv6 is possible, but businesses need to begin developing those configurations now to be ready when the transition finally does happen, McCloskey told CDN.
While businesses do not yet need to be ready for IPv6, many are already falling behind in the long process of preparing for the standard. According to a recent survey performed by Ipswitch, approximately 60 percent of respondents have less than 20 percent of their network infrastructure ready to handle the new internet address protocol. Furthermore, just 12 percent of respondents believe their network is somewhere between 80 and 100 percent ready for the IPv6 migration.