Is 2012 the year to invest in IPv6?
That's what CIOs want to know as they plan their IT budgets for the next fiscal year. They need to decide if they are going to set aside funds to deploy this emerging Internet standard and how much it will cost to upgrade their hardware and software.
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The short answer to that question: Yes.
The conventional wisdom in the Internet industry is that CIOs need to invest in IPv6 during 2012 or they will put the growth plans for their online businesses at risk. This is because an increasing number of new mobile and broadband subscribers worldwide will be given IPv6 addresses starting in 2012.
"For an enterprise, it's a safe assumption to make that if you start today to do a design assessment and your addressing plan, you can plan for an IPv6 deployment in the first half of 2012,'' said Alain Fiocco, who leads the IPv6 program at Cisco. "2012 is when you're going to see some measurable percentage of users on IPv6."
Two recent events have demonstrated to CIOs around the world that the need for IPv6 is both real and imminent: The free pool of available IP addresses using the current protocol, IPv4, was depleted in February; and most IPv4 addresses in the Asia Pacific region were distributed to carriers in April.
Meanwhile, IPv6 has proven itself ready for deployment. On June 8, more than 400 of the Internet's largest players, including Google, Facebook and Yahoo, participated in a 24-hour trial of IPv6 dubbed World IPv6 Day. No major outages, security breaches or performance degradation were reported during the event.