IPv6 Reality Check

Soon, many home appliances - even dog collars - will be Internet connected. Each of these devices will require using an Internet address in order to communicate across the network. Despite the hype, enterprises seem to be in no hurry to adopt the next generation Internet protocol. Here's why.


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One fact has become clear about IPv6, the next-generation Internet protocol developed to gradually replace the current IPv4: Adoption by US enterprises is not happening on Internet time. Even those who see potential in the technology, like Dan Demeter, CIO of talent management company Korn/Ferry International, are taking it slow. He plans to introduce IPv6 by 2010 as part of a worldwide network upgrade for his company. "We believe that [by] adopting IPv6 and restructuring our network routers and servers, we can deliver faster and more reliable and secure client solutions," Demeter says. Also, Korn/Ferry employees use BlackBerry mobile devices to access key company executive search data, and Demeter wants to explore the potential of IPv6 for providing additional mobile services. Among its top benefits, IPv6 promises a significant increase in the number of addresses available for networked devices such as mobile phones, and simpler administration of networks. But Demeter says Korn/Ferry is in the exploration stage, with no firm time frame for a pilot test. "Our approach is to focus on the areas where we can derive the most benefits and move ahead in gradual fashion as our experience grows and as we ensure that all the infrastructure components are compatible with IPv6." He's not alone. Federal government agencies are mandated by the Office of Management and Budget to move their network backbones to IPv6 by June 2008 - and so are the contractors that do business with agencies.



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