June 8th has been dubbed “World IPv6 Day” and will feature participation from Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Akamai and other organizations who will offer their content over IPv6 enabled networks for 24-hours.
In late 2007 I wrote about the upcoming deadline for federal agencies including the Department of Defense to implement IPv6 network technology. As I wrote then, the pressure on DNS, the service that translates names in IP addresses and other fundamental IP network functions was coming from email and Software as a Service offerings. To a certain extent there is the matter of IPv4 address exhaustion, although NAT (Network Address Translation) lowers this concern compared to security and scalability issues.
Last year my colleague P. J. Connolly opined, “This isn’t anything like the first time we’ve heard this, but this time, I’m inclined to take heed. Given the explosion of Internet use overseas, and the insane proliferation of mobile devices, I’m surprised we’ve managed to forestall this as long as we have, with the help of tricks like CIDR and NAT.” I think he’s right and the day of reckoning is now much closer than further. As I wrote in 2007, “Even the small changes required to accommodate IPv6 will likely be made with great reluctance by most organizations. However, there is a difference between reluctant preparation and being blindsided.”
IT managers should put June 8th on the calendar and start doing some investigation now as to what it would take to implement IPv6.