The buzz around the move from IPv4 to IPv6 hit a higher level in early February when it was announced that the last batch of the earlier protocol was released. The transition is slowly-some would say very slowly-entering the final stages. The federal government, which has always vocally advocated on behalf of the new addressing scheme, has more proactively gotten into the act with the release of an "IPv6 Readiness Tool."
U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra has a post on the White House website announcing the tool. The post includes a link to the download. Writes Chopra:
The planning tool outlines IPv6 preparedness issues, such as the technical needs associated with deployment. It is designed to help business leaders identify readiness issues and to bring these issues to the attention of senior corporate management to ensure successful IPv6 deployment and facilitate accelerated innovation.
Despite the hype, many organizations still have significant work to do. Peter Newton, director of product management for business products at Netgear, writes at Data Center Knowledge that how aggressively they do it-or, conversely, how aggressively they dodge it-will have a big impact on their fortunes going forward:
The winners in this transition will be those companies that take a forward leaning strategy toward IPv6 implementation, purchasing gear that is both IPv4 and IPv6 capable. These dual-stack products will simplify the transition when the time comes. More importantly, it will enable those companies to select the right time for them to make the change. The real winners of this change will take advantage of the latest generation of networking gear to improve their efficiency and operational capabilities, giving them an advantage over their slower competitors.
The implication is that the organizations that see the transition as an opportunity to upgrade equipment and processes will be in better shape in the overall sense than companies that don't take short cuts. The idea is pretty simple: Change in general and the transition from IPv4 to IPv6 in particular is inevitable. Embracing it is by far the most prudent approach.
The jury still is out. On one hand, all the hoopla hasn't made everybody rush to adopt IPv6. For instance, this report says that progress is slow in Europe. On the other hand, however, progress is being pushed in the right direction. There is the federal initiative and June 8 is IPv6 Day. On a smaller scale, APconnections, creator of NetEqualizer, is drawing attention to the topic by offering a $10,000 prize to the person who predicts the changeover date to IPv6 as determined by the first 50 companies with $5 million revenues that completely abandon IPv4.