IPv4 to IPv6 shift: Should you be concerned?

The IPv4 to IPv6 shift seems inevitable and may not be ignored. Ovum offers insights into this shift but specifies why enterprises need to tread with caution.

With explosive growth of internet in the offing, there has been a push for enterprise customers to switch over from IPv4 to IPv6. This shift has been prompted by the likelihood of IPv4 addresses running out. According to Ovum, researches show that the new model IPv6 offers a plethora of new address space for web portals, devices, and applications.

Shift is imminent

Presently, IPv6 traffic accounts for less than three per cent of all internet traffic, observes Ovum. The research firm states that this figure should see an increase soon as many enterprises will jump from IPv4 to IPv6 as the growing number of new consumer devices, such as smartphones, will be assigned IPv6 addresses, and the new web applications that will be accessed by these devices.

Ovum reports that the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region has been the first to move from IPv4 to IPv6 and is seen as a strategic region by many companies owing to the fact that many enterprise customers are doing business with a vendor/customer in this region. This should facilitate the faster switch from IPv4 to IPv6 worldwide.

IPv4 to IPv6 transition: Concerns and bottlenecks

However, this shift, although inevitable, is not as simple as it's made out to be. Ovum lists out a couple of concerns that enterprises have about the migration to the new platform.

Although the players from the internet and telecommunications industries acknowledge that the changeover from IPv4 to IPv6 is imperative, the enterprises do not feel the urgency due to the common belief that there still are IPv4 addresses in reserve.

Another major concern about the IPv4 to IPv6 transition is the high cost involved in the exercise and the slow, if not low, returns on investments as currently perceived by organizations. Many enterprises also feel that high investments made in IPv4 to IPv5 migration may affect their other pressing IT priorities that are closer to their core business operations and strategies. Thus, the shift from IPv4 to Ipv6 may remain on the back-burner for many enterprises for a while, observes Ovum.

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