Internet Protocol version 6, IPv6, is the wave of the future. It better be, lest the Internet run out of addresses. The Internet of Things would become the Internet of Thuds.
Technologists have been pushing IPv6 for years. The resistance and inertia they always have dealt with stems from the facts that it is quite a bit of work and one that brings no immediate rush of revenue. It is an enabler, not a profit center.
The clock has been ticking for a while. Now, however, the ticking is growing much louder. Last week, Network World and other sites reported that The American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) is down to its last allotment of old-style IPv4 addresses. ARIN is the issuing organization for the United States, Canada and much of the Caribbean.
Incognito Software released research that painted a picture of telecommunications and enterprise sectors that are moving toward IPv6, albeit slowly. The company polled 51 cable, wireless and wireline companies. It found that only 14 percent consider themselves ready for IPv6, with another 35 percent planning to move to the addressing scheme. Four percent have begun offering IPv6-based services to customers, while 10 percent have not started the process.
The short piece is packed with other numbers, all of which flesh out the big picture, which is most likely a bit disappointing to the folks whose job is to usher in the new addressing scheme.
Much of a technology breakthrough depends upon timing. In this interesting piece, Bruce Sinclair describes the days during which he was CEO of Hexago, an IPv6 network equipment vendor. The short version is that his company was ready long before there was demand for IPv6. Now, he suggests, the Internet of Things (IoT) may be the reason that the IPv6 reaches critical mass. Conversely, the IoT may only be able to take root with the help of the new addressing scheme:
When the use of IPv6 reaches its tipping point, it will enable IoT to reach to its true potential. In return, the Internet of Things will become that IPv6 killer app that we were directed to find in that board meeting long ago.
Phil Roberts, the technical programme manager for The Internet Society, started his post on IPv6 World Congress, which was held last month in Paris, with two of the questions he said were discussed most: How to get more operators to share their information and the level of penetration being made among wireless operators.
Other points that came out of the Congress were that operators who have turned to IPv6 want to see more traffic using it. On the mobile side, Roberts wrote that several carriers plan to transition to IPv6-only operations. There will be workarounds for content not using the format.
Alain Fiocco, a Cisco senior director and head of IPv6 High Impact Program, offered a post on the Congress that put a positive spin on the less-than-overwhelming IPv6 adoption numbers:
Service Providers (Comcast, Telus, DT, Telenet, Google fiber), Regional Registries (RIPE and ARIN) and independent observers (Internet Society, University of Tokyo) presented latest numbers and trends with regard to IPv6 adoption on the Internet. All the data going in the right direction (Global Internet IPv6 user penetration passed 3%, while some several very large ISP are well over 30% ).
Fiocco also links to 12 presentations and suggested that rollouts were going as expected.