Transition to IPv6 is inevitable for companies envisioning long-term presence on the Internet

Verisign Masters of Internet Infrastructure

Transition to IPv6 is inevitable for companies envisioning long-term presence on the Internet, but the mode and length of the transition remains very much a mystery. In Nemertes' 2011-2012 benchmark, IT professionals at 78% of companies said they had no transition plans yet. Coyote Point recently added IPv4/IPv6 gateway services to its Equalizer line of application delivery controllers, which to my mind underscores how important it is for enterprises to finally begin making their plans. The 22% with plans are split between running dual-stack and running address translation. We certainly think a coexistence strategy of some sort is the right choice for most companies, not just the easiest. Brocade, F5, Blue Coat, and other vendors in the service delivery optimization market have done what F5 has done: turned their current vantage points in the network into boundaries for IPv4/v6 translation services. This fits well with IT’s focus on doing as little as possible, and changing only what they must. The appliances (whether ADCs or security gateways or something else) allow IT to create a shadow cone behind them, within which they can segregate new islands of v6 functionality while ensuring full v4 access to all systems; or v4 services to which they now want to guarantee full access for v6 users. This lets IT have a hope of accomplishing both a transparent and a gradual migration. NB: IT also has to make sure the organization’s security requirements can be met. You don’t want to enable access to services to users on IPv6 if, in so doing, you bypass the security you’ve built up for your IPv4 traffic. You don’t want to put IPv6-native services up if you can’t protect them the way you do IPv4.

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