IPv6: Users not sold on the value

We've been hearing about IPv6 for several years now, and in fact more and more devices now support IPv6. But the overwhelming question remains: Is there a Business Case for this migration?

We've been hearing about IPv6 for several years now, and in fact more and more devices now support IPv6. But the overwhelming question remains: Is there a business case for this migration?

50 greatest networking arguments: IPv4 vs. IPv6

This question was recently addressed at Webtorials with a webcast and followed up with a quite lively discussion at the Webtorials Water Cooler.

To sum up the discussion, in our humble opinions:

1) IPv6 is being implemented aggressively by organizations (like the U.S. government) where there is an administrative mandate to do so.

2) IPv6 is – in the near and intermediate term – more important to the service providers, including cellular and cable, than it is to enterprise networks.

3) The only compelling reason demonstrated thus far for an IPv6 migration is to increase the address space. The other features – to the extent that they exist – are "nice to have" features but they are not yet critical.

One of the participants at the Water Cooler observed, "I don't think there will be good amount of transitions in near future. For any new technology to succeed, there must be an ecosystem and a compelling need to build a business case. In the case of IPv6, I don't see a set of applications that mandate the use of IPv6. Also, currently there do not seem to be any significant limitations that can be overcome only with migration to next version of IP. IMHO, it should start with the vendor community first - build useful applications, let service providers be completely ready and then enterprises will start looking at IPv6 with some confidence."

Or perhaps it was all summed up by the participant who flatly stated "It won't matter until we lose our first business opportunity due to our lack of support for IPv6. It all comes down to money."

We'll share more comments in the next newsletter. But in the meantime, please take a look at the full discussion and add your two cents at the Water Cooler.

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