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World IPv6 Day to bring network failure, and that is good, expert says

By Max Burkhalter
June 3, 2011
Pretty soon, a significant portion of the world's internet users will flip the IPv6 switch on and make their way into the new internet frontier for a 24-hour tour. That day could have a dramatic impact on how the networking, data center, financial and service provider industries progress into IPv6 during the next few years.

In a recent Inquirer report, industry expert Axel Pawlik said he hopes World IPv6 Day shows enough failure to get everybody's attention. According to Google's estimate that 1 percent of all network requests will fail due to compatibility problems, Pawlic will have his way.

Pawlic told the news source that networking "hiccups" will happen on World IPv6 Day, and he said they will be important to offer guidance for consumers, businesses and internet service providers working to introduce the standard. He explained that IPv6 migration is going to be a long and arduous process, and more urgency is needed.

"Everyone needs to be exposed to the problem and something needs to break," Pawlik told the Inquirer.

At first glance, Pawlik may seem somewhat harsh. But he told the news source industry experts have been trying to sell businesses on IPv6 for quite some time and they have not begun to buy into the urgency. Instead, many are only looking at profit margins and costs associated with the new protocol and not realizing that the transition will be complicated, challenging and long. Therefore, he hopes many will see problems during World IPv6 Day so they realize now, before it is too late, that they need to begin working to upgrade their infrastructure for the new protocol.

Pawlik told the news source that some major firms in Europe will run out of IPv4 addresses as early as the second half of 2011. It is already known that the address registry for Asia has run out of IPv4. As a result, Pawlik said a sense of urgency needs to begin emerging around IPv6 adoption.

Security could be one of the most important reasons for businesses to move quickly toward IPv6. A recent Network World report said network address translation, one of the most common short-term solutions for dealing with IPv6 issues, could make networks less secure. Essentially, NAT systems inherently expose data packets when translating the address between protocols. This constitutes a significant risk that needs to be addressed before IPv6 becomes mainstream.


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