With the Internet's largest-ever upgrade looming, network operators are using up address space based on the current standard -- known as IPv4 -- much faster than they are adopting IPv6, the next-generation standard.
Stories by Chuck Yoke
Growing up in a family with a strong work ethic, I often heard variations of the phrase "keep your head out of the clouds and your feet on the ground." To my parents, if you had your head in the clouds you were a dreamer wasting your life on fantasies and unrealistic goals. The successful were those who had their feet firmly planted on the ground of reality.
I received an interesting e-mail the other day. It was an advertisement for a Web site (i.e. spam) that supposedly offered Swiss watches for sale. Now I get a lot of this type of spam every day, but there was one thing that set this one apart -- it was from me!
I remember the day I focused my career on data networking. It was 1993, and I was supporting Novell LANs, X.25 WANs and, as part of a departmental cross-training initiative, PBX installations and international voice services.
The Internet is down. If you've been involved in networking for more than six months, you have probably heard this statement. You or one of your team sprang into action, identified the problem and resolved the issue.
Five years ago, I wrote a column questioning the need for IPv6 because I felt IPv4 was more than adequate. Today as I gaze across the network horizon I ask where is all the IPv6? Even with all the hype there are very few implementations outside of educational institutions, government or telecomms companies. In the corporate world, IPv4 remains king. And from what I can see, it will remain king through this decade.
"The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry, and leave us nothing but grief and pain instead of promised joy." Poet Robert Burns' words reflect many IT managers' sentiments regarding projects that started strong but ended miserably.
During my 20 years in IT, I have seen the premature death notices of many technologies that are still very much alive. I have read the obituaries of SNA, token ring, ISDN and COBOL. Analysts have invited me to witness the demise of the mainframe, LAN bridging and IPv4. And yet each one is still in use today. Some have taken on new identities (LAN bridging is now called Layer 2 switching), while others still are functioning in their original wrappers more than 10 years after the proclamation of their death.
There was a time when I could speak Spanish well. In order to get my bachelor's degree I needed to fulfil a language requirement. So one summer I took an intensive Spanish course. The teachers were native Spanish speakers, and the classes were conducted entirely in Spanish. By being immersed in Spanish four hours a day, five days a week, I quickly learnt to speak the language - maybe not fluently, but well enough to understand and be understood by native Spanish speakers.
Then I got my degree, went to work and never spoke Spanish again. Put me in a Spanish-speaking country today, and I will be totally lost.
Right now as you are reading this, an astute product marketing manager is using a classical seven-step research methodology to discover your needs and how best to meet those needs with his products. You can use this same seven-step approach to identify your company's needs and shape an appropriate IT architecture.
I am not an engineer, nor do I have any pretense to be one. I view technology from a business functionality perspective, which many times causes some conflicts between me and the technical personnel I manage. In many cases, the most elegant technology is not the best business choice.
I don't get it. Maybe it's because I'm over 40 and the brain cells are dying, but there are many things happening today in the world of technology that I just don't understand. Take IPv6, for example. I just don't get it. Why in the world would I be interested in investing the time, money and effort it is going to take to convert my IPv4 networks to IPv6?