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Hi, and sorry for the delay in responding! It IS a broad question, and I have hesitated to respond, my mind flooded with the numerous issues that a broad question such as this raises.
In the end, I settled on focusing my answer to the following, and if you need to ask more, please do so.
[I have updated this original post for January 2023]
IPv6 is well into deployment.
- IPv6 on and working in Dual Stack on most operating systems. The list if when this milestone happened is as follows:
- Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar.
- Linux kernels version 2.2 and above ship with an IPv6 implementation built in. (Same goes for Solaris and many others).
- Microsoft Windows XP includes an IPv6 implementation intended for development use and trial network deployments. It has been standard in Vista and Windows 7.
- Every main operating system for computing supports IPv6 by default (Windows, Linux, MAC, etc). So it is safe to say that end users are fairly well positioned as long as they are using a newer version of their OS’s.
- The IPv6 core network has been established and is growing steadily in capacity and traffic carried. Sometimes called the 6bone, and sometimes called Internet2; see a topology of the 6bone network here:http://www.dbnet.ece.ntua.gr/6bone/
- Just about every Router/Switch manufacturer has supported IPv6 for a number of years now (Cisco since 12.2(T) for example).
- There are IPv6 applications emerging (see a list at http://www.ipv6.org/v6-apps.html).
- The primary IPv6 users seemed to focus around Universities in the US, then more dense usage in general for Europe and Asia.Now we see major web sites such as Google and Facebook based in IPv6.
Google did a study on IPv6 (you can find it here: http://www.ripe.net/ripe/meetings/ripe-57/presentations/Colitti-Global_IPv6_statistics_-_Measuring_the_current_state_of_IPv6_for_ordinary_users_.7gzD.pdf) and concluded that penetration of IPv6 was around 1% of the entire Internet. We know this has been growing daily since that report and the latest penetration numbers are closer to 40% and you can confirm these yourself here: https://www.google.com/intl/en/ipv6/statistics.html as well as look at top IPv6 countries and such.
We are tired of the “Chicken Little” types that keep forecasting the death of IPv4. So far not one of the predictions have come true. IPv4 addresses have become extremely scarce and there are now bidding sites to purchase IPv4 addresses (just google “IPv4 address bid” and you will find trading/selling/buying links. We also see that there is a tremendous amount of hoarding of IPv4 addresses (nothing against any of these folks but one has to wonder why MIT needs 16 million IPv4 addresses, or HP needing 32 million?).
Nonetheless, we cannot ignore the growth of the Internet address consumption.
So we say if you have not already, or are not already on IPv6, it is time to get on board with IPv6.
- Any routers or switches or gateways or firewalls, or anything else for that matter, you purchase for your network should be IPv6 compliant.
- You should be developing an IPv6 strategy or at least updating it (yes, we would love to help!)
- You should also start to learn about IPv6 if you are a tier 2 or tier 3 service provider. One way (forgive us blowing our own horns here) is to get into a hands on class on the subject.
We hope this helps, and I welcome further discussion!
Further Information on IPv6 can be found at:
- – the IPv6 ORG site
- – A world-wide consortium of leading Internet vendors, Research & Education Networks.
- – Wikipedia