IPv6 guide part 4: IPv6 products lack features

In part four of our IPv6 guide we look at the IPv6 capability of networking products

Mann says Monash viewed the move to a dual stack environment as an opportunity to revisit existing network configuration, management, monitoring, procedures and control systems.

"The university has enough skilled staff and a big enough network so that writing our own tools is actually cost effective," he said. "We don't have to wait for vendors we can get tools customised to do exactly what we want.

"Monash accesses Google Apps for staff and student e-mail over IPv6 so we rely on it working.

"On World IPv6 Day our users fetched 400GB of Internet content over IPv6."

When building a business case for IPv6, it is important to point out that migration isn't just an Internet plumbing issue as it impacts all areas of the business from email to back office billing.

With such broad business reach it is a project that requires a multi-year timeframe, according to Tony Hill, president of the Internet Society of Australia and managing director of consultancy, IPv6Now.

Hill said organisations working on a transition plan should keep it simple referring to the IPv6 strategy used by the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) as a good example.

The AGIMO plan is restricted to three headings - preparation, transition and implementation.

It was first developed in 2007 and proposed all federal government agencies be IPv6 capable by 2012 and operate dual stack IPv4/IPv6 environments by 2015. However, a revised transition strategy was released and updated in 2009 bringing these deadlines forward several years as the availability of IPv4 addresses continues to diminish.

The Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC) recently announced that the free pool of IPv4 addresses in the Asia Pacific region has effectively been exhausted.

The revised AGIMO strategy has all agencies IPv6 enabled by the end of 2012, a timeline that has also been adopted by neighbouring countries such as Malaysia.

Hill said the revised deadline demonstrates how the plan itself is a “living document” that continues to be reviewed annually taking into account technology advances, industry developments and lessons learned from similar implementations.

The financial implications of IPv6 will vary depending on how late in the game some businesses get started.

“The budget implications for organisations that started early will be much lower than those just starting now,” he said.

Organisations with business models heavily dependent on reaching a broad Internet audience, especially in the emerging mobile market, are also revising migration deadlines.

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