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IPv6 Basking in the Desert Sun

Tuesday June 29th at the Cisco Live Conference Las Vegas, John Chambers announced their newest product, the Cius tablet aimed at the enterprise market and positioned as a mobility product. That very same day a two hour IPv6 deployment panel, moderated by Cisco’s Alain Fiocco, featured Google, Microsoft, Comcast and Tata Communications in front of a room filled to near capacity.

The nature of the audience was interesting. Compared to previous years, when asked about their affiliation, the number of hands raised for the category ‘enterprise’ was significantly higher. ISP’s, Government and Education sector used to dominate but Industry now seems to have finally taken notice.

The session was prefaced by John Chambers’ video, the same one presented at the Google IPv6 Conference some weeks ago, announcing Cisco’s commitment to IPv6 support on all product lines. Top down works in most Corporations, so the various fiefs and divisions will certainly take notice as they will most likely be regularly probed on their progress. Let us assume that their bonuses will also be linked to some IPv6 related deliverables, this always brings quite some focus.

What remains of the increasingly putrid IPv4 address pool seems to dry up even faster under the scorching sun of the Vegas Valley. The exhaustion counters agree that a year from now the IANA pool will be dry while some pundits hypothesize a final run on the remaining IPv4 address blocks. Why not a betting site on the exact IPv4 exhaustion date? after all this is Vegas. Allocation of ever smaller blocks remains a temptation, ignoring the fact that associated table sizes would put possibly unbearable strain on routing and affect service quality. ‘Business continuity’ is becoming the new mantra for a more rapid adoption of IPv6. The perceived issues, not surprisingly are the lack of training and back-office readiness as already voiced at the Google Conference.

In the meantime the tier 1 networks are ready, the active IPv6 BGP table is now well over 3000 and shows a healthy growth, content is increasingly IPv6 accessible, operating systems are ready and IPv6 trickles down all the way to the eyeballs, in other words the end-user. Some end-user customers even switched to Comcast, just to be part of their IPv6 trial.

When I will see ‘IPv6 ready’ written on a Cisco Linksys box at Future Shop, I will buy one. I am also eagerly waiting for Videotron, my cable and internet provider, to follow in Comcast’s steps.

And by the way, we were told that Cius is Android based and IPv6 ready.

IPv6 is doing well under the desert sun and summer heat.

By Yves Poppe, Director, Business Development IP Strategy at Tata Communications

(Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in these articles are solely those of the author and are not in any way attributable to nor reflect any existing or planned official policy or position of his employer in respect thereto.)

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