Customer demand, not IP address exhaustion, should spur IPv6 adoption this year, according to analyst firm Ovum.
Heading into World IPv6 Day on Wednesday, Ovum analyst, Mike Sapien, told Computerworld he’s noticed much more interest among customers this year than he did during the one-off "industry party" he saw at last year’s event.
“This is the year I see a lot of customers actually starting to make the move,” Sapien said. The analyst predicted a “splash” of announcements on Wednesday, with more to come over the new few months.
“Last year was heavily concentrated on the industry players celebrating an industry event, and most of the enterprise customers and consumers had no interest or care about it at all,” Sapien said. It was an “industry party,” he said. Also, industry tests and demonstrations lasted only a day before being taken down.
Sapien sees more customer interest in IPv6 this year, he said. In addition, more ISPs and vendors are involved and the participants plan to keep the service on permanently, he said.
It’s likely that new devices and B2C apps will force business to adopt IPv6, Sapien said. “It’s going to come down to a company realizing that they have some application that needs to be converted” or risk losing customers, he said. For example, banks with mobile apps “need to be worried because the IPv6 capability within a mobile phone or mobile application may not be supported.”
“Running out of [IP] addresses is a little bit of a scarecrow” stood up by promoters of the transition, Sapien said. The analyst hasn’t heard any reports of a customer running out of addresses, and therefore doesn’t believe exhaustion will be the driver of IPv6 adoption, he said.
The movement to IPv6 likely will take three to four years, with a large period of dual support for the old and new versions of the IP addressing system, Sapien said. That amount of time “will be fine,” and there are benefits of moving in a “phased approach,” he said.
To ensure a smooth migration, a business should ensure it has an “active inventory” of its network, devices and addresses, Sapien said. It should also have a plan with a phased approach that includes testing, he said. Businesses should set a goal for this year of at least making a plan and testing IPv6, he said. As a company makes the move, it should also ensure it hasn’t upset connections to third-party vendors, for example on its website, he said.
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