Upgrading your Web site to support IPv6 doesn't have to be hard or expensive. Here are six simple steps toward adopting IPv6 from companies that are already offering IPv6 content:
1. Take an inventory of the hardware and software you use to support your Web site and figure out which devices and software releases you have to upgrade to support IPv6 traffic. Make sure you can get IPv6 connectivity from your ISP and DNS service provider.
2. Create an IPv6 upgrade plan that is part-and-parcel of your overall bandwidth and capacity planning and that also takes into account any new Web services you plan to introduce.
3. Earmark funds for IPv6 training and IPv6-related network upgrades in your 2012 IT budget. A few hundred thousand dollars should be enough, unless you are a carrier or a major content provider.
4. Consider taking the appliance approach to IPv6, which involves adding a translation device in front of your Web infrastructure as a fast way to make your IPv4 content available to IPv6-only users. Another quick and easy option is to outsource your Web infrastructure to a content delivery network that will handle IPv6-to-IPv4 translation in the cloud.
5. Start experimenting with IPv6 now. Be sure to test how IPv6-based traffic will work on the same hardware and software that you use to support your Web site and Web services. Be warned that many products do not offer feature parity between IPv4 and IPv6 services.
6. Participate in the next Internet Society-sponsored IPv6 testing event, which is under consideration for February 2012.
Read more about lan and wan in Network World's LAN & WAN section.