More IPv6 and DNS

Upcoming federal deadlines for IPv6 implementation mean that core IP services including DNS will come under some scrutiny. In January, eWEEK Labs will go on-site at WiscNet to evaluate a DNS replacement project. DNS, the service that translates names into IP addresses, so you can type in www.eweek.com instead of

Upcoming federal deadlines for IPv6 implementation mean that core IP services including DNS will come under some scrutiny. In January, eWEEK Labs will go on-site at WiscNet to evaluate a DNS replacement project.

DNS, the service that translates names into IP addresses, so you can type in www.eweek.com instead of 192.168.22.35, is a relatively distant cousin, architecturally speaking, of Layer 3 IP. However, the June 2008 milestone for IPv6 adoption in all federal agencies raises a host of questions including how DNS will accommodate the much larger 128-bit IP address.

The pressure on DNS is coming from e-mail and software-as-a-service applications that depend on the aging infrastructure. Add to this the coming implementation of IPv6 and I see a growing justification for looking at how DNS is currently implemented with an eye to modernizing the ubiquitous protocol that enables us connect point A to point B.

Because DNS plays a central role in handling e-mail and Web connectivity even the small changes required to accomodate IPv6 will likely be made with great reluctance by most organizations. However, there is a difference between reluctant preparation and being blindsided.

The OMB (Office of Management and Budget) mandates are just the beginning of an era that will be marked by making subtle but far-reaching changes to the underlying network infrastructure that has carried the Internet wave this far.