IPv6: The essential guide

Been meaning to catch up on IPv6, the next generation Internet Protocol? We've backtracked and collected a handful of stories that will get you up to speed well before IPv4 addresses run out.

Slideshow: Evolution of the Internet 


Invisible IPv6 traffic poses serious network threat: Even if you haven't made the move to IPv6 yet, you might unwittingly have IPv6 traffic on your network, and that's probably not a good thing since you're probably not set up to see, manage or block it. And that could be opening the door for IPv6 traffic that includes attacks such as botnet command and controls. Read full story

Biggest mistake for IPv6 is that it's not backwards compatible, developers admit: The Internet engineering community says its biggest mistake in developing IPv6 is that it lacks backwards compatibility with IPv4. Leaders of the IETF have admitted that they didn't do a good enough job making sure native IPv6 devices and networks would be able to communicate with their IPv4-only counterparts when they designed the industry standard 13 years ago. Read full story. 

No business case for IPv6, survey finds: Business incentives are completely lacking today for upgrading to IPv6, the next generation Internet protocol, according to a survey of network operators conducted by the Internet Society (ISOC). ISOC says that ISPs, enterprises and network equipment vendors report that there are "no concrete business drivers for IPv6." However, survey respondents said customer demand for IPv6 is on the rise and that they are planning or deploying IPv6 because they feel it is the next major development in the evolution of the Internet. Read full story. 


IPv6 helps university go green: Ave Maria University, a liberal arts college near Naples, Fla., is looking to adopt IPv6 across its two data centers and all of its facilities management systems, which are used for monitoring building access, temperature control and power management. The goal: improved energy conservation across its campus. Read full story. 

Google says IPv6 is easy, not expensive: Google engineers say it was not expensive and required only a small team of developers to enable all of the company's applications to support IPv6. “We can provide all Google services over IPv6,” said Google network engineer Lorenzo Colitti during an IETF meeting earlier this year. Colitti said a “small, core team” spent 18 months enabling IPv6, from the initial network architecture and software engineering work, through a pilot phase, until Google over IPv6 was made publicly available. Read full story: 

AT&T builds $23M IPv6 network for U.S. military: AT&T is building a production-quality IPv6 data network for the U.S. Army in Germany that will cost approximately $23 million when it is completed next year. AT&T is installing and testing a new campus data network, which will support Army personnel at 600 JMTC buildings. AT&T says the installation will be complete in January 2010. Read full story. 

Nation's largest IPv6 network welcomes rivals: Hurricane Electric claims to be the No. 1 IPv6 backbone in the world in terms of the number of IPv6 networks that it peers with and the number of IPv6 routes that it announces. It's about to get a lot more company as the IPv4 depletion date gets nearer (speaking of which, the ISP now offers an iPhone app to track that countdown). Read full story. 

Comcast lengthens IPv6 lead: Comcast continues to outpace rival U.S. cable companies in the development of next-generation Internet connectivity and content. It recently was among the first carriers to demonstrate end-to-end IPv6 transmission for residential broadband customers. Though Comcast also plans to offer transit services to wholesale customers. Read full story. 


Feds strike deal on IPv6 testing: The U.S. government has reportedly struck a compromise between network vendors – Cisco and some others wanted to conduct their own compliance and interoperability tests -- and independent test labs. The USGv6 Test Program, run by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, requires all network hardware and software vendors by next July to pass IPv6 compliance and interoperability tests before they can sell their wares to THE plum account – the U.S. federal government. Read full story 

Feds says IPv6 is a priority: In June 2008, all federal agencies met an Office of Management and Budget deadline to demonstrate that their backbone networks were IPv6 capable. In June 2009, the Federal CIO Council issued a road map that disclosed the next steps agencies should be taking toward IPv6 deployment. The road map says every federal CIO should develop a business case for IPv6 and integrate IPv6 into their agency's enterprise architecture and capital investment plans. Read full story. 

This story, "IPv6: The essential guide" was originally published by Network World.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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