IPv6 and Infrastructure - Are we doing enough?

by VPNHaus | 01/24/2012 |Industry Commentary, IPv6

Dark Reading's Kelly Jackson Higgins is reporting that many providers and vendors, including Google, AT&T, Facebook and others - plan to officially go live with IPv6 on this year's IPv6 Day (June 6). This might sound familiar, as it was last June that more than 400 organizations — including Google and Facebook – enabled IPv6 standards on their websites. Last year, no major outages were reported, paving the way for this year's official switch.

Even so, an ongoing concern has been whether our technology infrastructure is ready for IPv6. Rainer Enders, CTO of NCP engineering, posed this very question last year in the column "We Need Infrastructure Before IPv6 Becomes a Real Problem" on CTOEdge. Drawing upon his personal experience, Enders illustrated the stark technical reality facing IPv6 implementation:

I live in Walnut Creek, a community less than 30 miles from San Francisco — arguably, the epicenter of technology and innovation in the world. And yet, my community isn’t yet equipped to handle IPv6 or high-speed Internet protocols. If we — just a stone’s throw from Silicon Valley — can’t transition easily to technological innovations, how can we expect anything more from the rest of the country? 

Now, in an encouraging next step, the Internet Society has announced that “Major Internet service providers (ISPs), home networking equipment manufacturers, and web companies around the world are coming together to permanently enable IPv6 for their products and services by 6 June 2012,” reports ZDNet's Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols.

He adds:

In a statement, the Internet Society’s CTO, Leslie Daigle, said, “The fact that leading companies across several industries are making significant commitments to participate in World IPv6 Launch is yet another indication that IPv6 is no longer a lab experiment; it’s here and is an important next step in the Internet’s evolution. And, as there are more IPv6 services, it becomes increasingly important for companies to accelerate their own deployment plans.”

What this means, exactly, according to the Internet Society is that ISPs participating in World IPv6 Launch will enable IPv6 for enough users so that at least 1% of their wireline residential subscribers who visit participating websites will do so using IPv6 by 6 June 2012. These ISPs have committed that IPv6 will be available automatically as the normal course of business for a significant portion of their subscribers."

 Readers, what are your thoughts - is this a step in the right direction? Stay tuned as we feature more experts weighing into the next steps on IPv6 ultimate roll-out.