Most enterprises will be on IPv6 by 2013: Survey

IT professionals overwhelmingly say they want their companies to be leaders not laggards in IPv6 adoption, Network World survey finds

  • Vendor gear lags There's good news and bad news when it comes to software and hardware. The good news is that a big chunk of enterprises, almost half, know that most of their gear supports IPv6 and another 16 per cent knows that all of it does. The bad news is that this also means that companies are still working with a lot of gear that can't route an IPv6 address. One told us, "Our WAN suppliers and network vendors are currently the largest barriers to dual-stack IPv6 deployment. Currently our carrier does not offer MPLS service (or internet) in IPv6. Also, our previous network vendor (Nortel/Avaya) will not be offering upgrades on our existing gear to route IPv6. Our new network vendor (Juniper) does not yet have a full feature set (example: DHCPv6 Relay, important to campus VLANs, is missing)."
  • IPv6 makes significant progress in the enterprise 2011 is the year that IPv6 moved among the top priorities for many enterprises. Network World wanted to know where organisations stood in their implementation plans. So we asked and 210 readers, representing businesses of all sizes, responded. We expected people to tell us that they were making progress on IPv6 for their websites, and they are. We were surprised at how far along many are with IPv6 on their internal networks as well. And we were blown away by how many agreed that IPv6 isn't just hype, but fundamentally important to the growth of the internet and that they didn't want their companies to be left behind. The following slides offer the full results of the survey.
  • Smaller is faster when it comes to IPv6 Size matters when it comes to the speed of adopting IPv6. Smaller companies will adopt somewhat faster. 70 per cent of small companies (less than 100 employees) will have IPv6 on their internal networks and 68 per cent on their websites within the next year. Among large companies (1,000-plus), half will have IPv6 on internal networks and 52 per cent on their websites in the next year. The slowest adopters of the bunch will be midsize companies (101-1,000), of which 32 per cent will have IPv6 on their networks and 39 per cent on their websites in 12 months. This group also had the largest percentage of respondents who said they don't plan to use IPv6 on internal networks at all (26 per cent). "There's no business need at my company for IPV6 now or in the foreseable future," one told us. Others are frustrated by that attitude, writing, "If I could only convince them to move on IPv6 for just their few public-facing resources ..."
  • Half will have websites IPv6-enabled within a year Not surprisingly, most IT professionals in the survey were planning on upgrading their websites to IPv6 by 2013. 72 per cent will be done by then, with 13 per cent already done. All told, about half will be done in the next year. "IPv6 is an eventual inevitable and will only make more devices available and make IP networking more secure and easy to implement, so it's not a question of will I, it's a question of when will I," said one respondent.
  • Most plan to have IPv6 on networks by 2013 One of the surprises of the survey was how much movement enterprises are making with using IPv6 on their internal networks. Almost 13 per cent report that they've already completed rolling out IPv6 on their networks. Another 25 per cent are in process. All told, about 65 per cent will be using IPv6 internally within 24 months. However, this leaves a fairly large percentage, about 35 per cent, that have no network adoption plans, or won't be done for more than two years. One told us, "I'd just like to let everyone know: JUST DO IT! It was much easier than I expected. I do have to keep reminding myself, oh yeah, there's a multicast group for that in IPv6 so I don't have to set it. It's pretty sweet, actually."
  • Hands on with IPv6 Most IT professionals have at least played with IPv6, according to a Network World survey. Two-thirds of respondents indicated that they've worked with IPv6 in some capacity with one-third actually implementing it at their workplace. "I lead the IT team and we have numerous dual stack websites," said one respondent. Another offered, "We just finished upgrading all our switches/routers to dual-stack. Servers are next." Meanwhile, about one-third are just beginning their IPv6 journey. One wrote, "I am a network engineer for a small business IP. We still have a plethora of unused IPv4 addresses, but I know that I will soon have to create the dual stack. The experience will also go a long way in job security and the potential for a higher paying position."
  • The ones leading the charge Three-quarters of respondents are those who will ultimately be responsible for their company's IPv6 transition. From the results of this survey, this comment sums up most respondents' attitudes: "We are in the process of finalizing our enterprise IPv6 strategy. We have sufficient registered IPv4 address space for the moment, but are looking to ensure that IPv6-only Web resources are accessible to internal employees and that IPv6-only customers of the future will be able to access Internet-facing customer resources." Special thanks to the Solarwinds Thwack community for publicizing this survey.
  • Almost all agree: IPv6 is critical More than 90 per cent of respondents believe that IPv6 is fundamentally important to the growth of the Internet. The majority intend to make their websites available via IPv6 as well as running IPv6 natively on their internal networks (though more are concerned with their website than their networks). Because many IT professionals have already ensured that the gear they are buying supports IPv6, most do not believe supporting the next Internet Protocol will be a big financial burden, though many still feel like they need more education to get it done. As one wrote, "It's a complex protocol, lot's of new thing's to learn, 128 bits ... manic!" Unlike other technology migrations, most users are not waiting to be convinced. Three-quarters say they would rather be leaders than laggards when it comes to adoption.
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