IPv6 Still Gets No Respect in the United States

By David Morgenstern  |  Posted 06-15-2006
SAN FRANCISCO—Although the foundation of the next-generation Internet, IPv6, is gaining momentum in South Asia and receiving solid support in Windows Vista, enterprise IT managers based in the United States appear to be in little hurry to adopt the standard.

Such was the conclusion of a debate held here on June 14 at the Burton Group's annual Catalyst conference.

In the IPv6 (Internet Protocol Version 6) camp were Alex Lightman, CEO of IP telephony vendor Innofone.com, and Lawrence Hughes, chief technology officer of InfoWeapon, which offers an IPv6 network security appliance.

Holding up the IPv4 flag, or championing an all-things-in-their-season approach, was Senior Analyst Jeff Young of Burton Group, in Midvale, Utah.

Lightman ran through the usual technical arguments for IPv6 adoption, including its greater supply of Internet addresses, improved configuration capabilities, mandatory support for IP Security and QOS (quality of service), and simpler merging of networks.

He also discussed the expanded IPv6 support in Windows Vista, the possibility of new Internet applications using the extensible headers available in IPv6, and increased support for mobile applications.

As a sign of the protocol's nascent arrival, Lightman pointed to the closure on June 6 of the 6Bone Project, an experimental IPv6 site started in 1996. He said the project was no longer necessary due to the increasing adoption of the standard in the Asian markets and the IPv6-native sites now cropping up on the Internet.

Click here to see the IPv6 Working Group's list of IPv6 products.

"[The United States] can't afford to become a backwater. We can't ignore the rest of the world," Lightman warned. He said lack of expertise and deployment of IPv6 could hurt U.S. technical leadership when it comes to the Internet.

In addition, he observed that if international Web sites can't be reached with IPv4 products, that could become problem for U.S. businesses.

However, Burton Group's Young said there was no business case yet for the new technology. "It's not quite prime time," he said.

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