By Rich Makris
Sometimes long term predictions are correct. Back in 1994, The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) predicted that the IPv4 address pool would be depleted between 2005 and 2011. Here we are in February of 2011 and as of the first of the month, the last /8’s were handed out to the regional registries. Whether it’s the growth of mobile devices and emerging nations or just a final IPv4 land grab, users are requesting more IP addresses than are available.
But, where do we go from here? It looks like IPv6 is finally becoming a reality for everyone. A better question might be “How do we prepare for the migration?”
Here are some suggestions:
– Invest in some type of training. IPv6 is another change that IT will need to adopt and it’s always easier to just do it right the first time.
– Check your equipment. Obvious things like routers and switches are easy to identify, but what about that old printer on the 3rd floor with the toner cartridges from eBay because no one makes them ?
– Look into your software. Most run at the application layer but what about the network tools you use? Does your vendor have a history of quality IPv6 support?
– Develop a migration strategy. Have your service providers adopted a strategy? Is it better to run a dual stack environment or use a gateway? Maybe both will be required.
The next several months will determine how quickly we will all need to move on to IPv6. This migration is just like any other, whether it was from flat files to relational databases, copper to fiber, physical to virtual servers, or any other technology change. Remember to prepare and plan for your project.
Now if only the predictions about flying cars were as close…