It may be time for an IPv6 upgrade, even for those enterprises that have amassed plenty of IPv4 addresses and don't have an immediate need to change. "Simply because you have sufficient address space today and … you are willling to pay a little extra money to manage your NAT and other translation devices, doesn't mean you'll be shielded from IPv6," said Chip Popoviciu, a technical leader with Cisco and co-author of the book Global IPv6 Strategies. "The way to look at IPv6 adoption is not what will I gain, but what can I lose."
Popoviciu explains in this podcast that multinational companies in particular may lose out on partnering with companies that have made the IPv6 transition, or they may have a more difficult time deploying the large arrays of sensors quickly becoming popular in a variety of enterprise settings.
The best strategy, Popoviciu said, is to begin planning now and map out a gradual upgrade.
"The process is not straightforward," he said. "The networking piece is relatively easy, but when it comes down to policy, to applications and services, things might get a little more complicated. Starting early will allow you to reduce costs and do a better job with integration."
Popoviciu warned that training and support costs will balloon in enterprises that put off their IPv6 upgrade. He said staged progression would allow infrastructure upgrades to align with already planned refreshes and allow training to "trickle down" with minimal extra expense.
Global companies would be among the first to feel a strong need for IPv6.
"I think that global organisations are sometimes more exposed to IPv6 in terms of an urgent consideration," he said. "Even if a company has relatively abundant IPv4 resources, many parts of the world have a faster adoption rate that has to be accommodated, particularly in Asia."
To hear more of Popoviciu's thoughts, listen to our podcast or read chapter excerpts at the book homepage, http://www.globalipv6strategies.com/index.html.
Please send article suggestions or questions to Michael Morisy. Podcast background music is "Glacial Epoch," by Victor Stellar.