Does IPv6 Affect My Business?
Breif IPv6 Introduction
What is IPv6?
IPv6 is an abbreviation of Internet Procotol Version 6. This is the new protocol which will eventually replace the existing protocol IPv4.
Why do we need IPv6?
The main reason we need IPv6 is beacuse the address space for IPv4 is running out! Around the year 1990 approximately ~ 536 million or one eighth of the available IPv4 IP addresses had been used.
Look at the statistic below and you can see why.
Number of IPv4 Addresses:
Number of IPv6 Addresses:
The IPv6 number roughly translates into three hundred and forty trillion, trillion, trillion addressesthree hundred and forty trillion, trillion, trillion addresses!
What does all this mean for me?
Depending on if you just use your computer at home, or if you have an online business or your business utilises the internet heavly. The effect of transition can have a major effect.
IPv6 Business Help
IPv6 and You
Depending on your use of the internet here is how IPv6 may affect you.
Home users are not bothered by changes made to our world networks, all they want is an end product. iPhone, music, YouTube etc. Therefore for a normal home user IPv6 should not matter so much. However, as more large websites start using IPv6, the router they use or operating system will need to support IPv6 routing.
Luckily, any Windows operating system supports IPv6 already. As well as Apple Mac's and most Linux Distro's. The only concern left then is the router that a home user would use.
Business Owner - Internet Dependant
The main cause for concern if to business who invest heavily on their web presence. Businesses which have a large web presence and depend on the Internet for revenue are in for a big surprise, and not a very nice one.
The reason for this is, within the next 3 years or so. The Internet will start to evolve / migrate to IPv6, not because people want a change, but because its totally necessary!
But here lies the problem. Existing companies will never see the point to having IPv6. They are in some regards, the same as the end user.
"Why should I spend money upgrading to IPv6? My business is running fine on IPv4. I will deal with the problem when it arises"
To combat the above problems, IPv4 addresses will become increasingly more expensive as IPv6 addresses will become less expensive. Thus, ISP's will assign home users, and small businesses IPv6 addresses instead. This ensures that IPv6 can not only be smoothly migrated, but people will have incentive to invest in the protocol! Good news.
You say it's good news. But what about the bad news?
The bad news is, that internet driven companies will need to take action NOW to hinder the possibility of down time and loss of custom.
For example, you have a small office client who uses your online services. They have recently been given IPv6 internet access (beacuse it worked out cheaper for them). You are still using IPv4 ONLY. This means that client cannot access your website, web server, FTP, or whatever feature you are supplying. Ultimately this customer will find another vendor with IPv6 capabilities.
Now what if this happened to 30% of your customers, in the next say 3 - 7 years. Now if this doesnt make people think. I dont know what will.
What can You do about it?
There is something you can do about it, you have taken the time to read this article now its time to take some steps to ensure the above scenario does not affect your business!
Start Learning - Start learning now so the curve isnt too steep. Having a little knowledge on the topic can only help.
Traning - If you have maintenence staff, train them on the new protocol.
One step at a time - You dont have to make the plunge straight away. Plan your steps, upgrade to dual stack one step at a time. Make sure it works, make sure your network an co-exist with IPv4 and IPv6.
Ultimately Make sure you are ready for the change. It may seem far away, but it really is not at all. And if you dont act now, you may find yourself in some sticky situations in a few years time.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me. You can addtionally visit my websites for more information on IPv6.