IT Trends | Research

Most Enterprise Networks Not Ready for IPv6

An informal online survey conducted by Ipswitch Inc.'s Network Management Division revealed that 88 percent of enterprise networks are not fully ready for the change to IPv6, and 66.1 percent are less than 20 percent ready.

The poll asked, "What percentage of your network infrastructure is IPv6 ready?" At the time of publishing, the results breakdown was:

  • 66.1 percent of respondents were 0 percent to 20 percent ready;
  • 9.6 percent were 20 percent to 40 percent ready;
  • 6.5 percent were 40 percent to 60 percent ready;
  • 5.8 percent were 60 percent to 80 percent ready; and
  • 12 percent were 80 percent to 100 percent ready.

THE Journal's own informal poll in the first quarter of 2011 showed that 25 percent of participants believed they would experience "major disruptions" as a result of the shift to IPv6. Fifty-eight percent indicated they are or will be "fully prepared" by the time they will be affected by the switchover. The remainder said some non-critical systems may not be prepared in time.

These statistics are noteworthy because the last remaining blocks of IPv4 addresses have all been allocated and will soon run out, necessitating the switch to IPv6 network addressing, which has a billion-trillion times more capacity than IPv4.

While many computers and other networked devices have been IPv6-ready for several years, most enterprises still have legacy IPv4 equipment that must be upgraded; or, alternatively, organizations must incorporate technology to bridge the communications gap between their IPv4 and IPv6 devices. Failure to do so could result in a loss of Internet connectivity or presence.

To help promote the switch to IPv6, the Internet Society is holding World IPv6 Day June 8, 2011, when Facebook, Google, and Yahoo will work with the Internet Society and major content delivery networks, Akamai and Limelight Networks to conduct the first global-scale trial of IPv6. For 24 hours, participants will enable IPv6 on their main services.

The goal of the event is to encourage Internet service providers, hardware manufacturers, operating system vendors, and other Web companies to prepare for the transition. The test will also help participating companies identify problems so they can correct them before their IPv6 services finally go live.

Participants in IPv6 day said they believe that their networks are ready and estimated that only 0.05 percent of customers will experience problems connecting through IPv6 on World IPv6 Day owing to network equipment that is incorrectly configured or not operating properly.

Other Web site owners and network operators are welcome to participate in World IPv6 Day. More information is available here.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].