Jim Bound, chairman of the North American IPv6 Task Force
Are You Ready for IPv6?
Soon or later the world is going to move to IPv6, the next generation IP, which includes a vastly expanded address space (128 bit instead of 32), far higher security, and auto-configuration that does away with the need for local Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol DHCP servers and allows global addressing.
All this, of course, is well-documented, but it leaves you and other network administrators with many questions:
To answer the last question first, the U.S. Government is putting its considerable weight behind a push towards IPv6. For example, the Defense Department with its $30 billion budget has been buying only IPv6-compliant networking gear since October 2003, and aims to have full IPv6 compliance by 2008.
Clearly IPv6 is on the rise, and its adoption is likely to snowball as more IPv6 networks encourage the use of IPv6 devices, making IPv6 networks more desirable.
Time Shouldn't Matter
So when should you start preparing? In a way, timing is not critical IPv6 was designed from the very beginning to co-exist with IPv4, so, in theory, you could keep your head down and ignore IPv6, while continue to operate as you do now.
But, in practice, the sooner you start the better. "If you are not thinking about planning a move to IPv6 today, it's costing you money," said Jim Bound, chairman of the North American IPv6 Task Force. "The longer you wait and live with IPv4 bandaids, plugs and fixes to make it all work, the more you'll be buying that doesn't support IPv6 and the more it will cost you to move in the end."