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A number of vendors have taken up the mantle of providing IPv6 readiness -- Infoblox, for example, offers a whitepaper called "Seven Deadly IPv6 Transition Traps" -- and many of the industry's most visible networking and infrastructure players, even those not actively participating in World IPv6 Day, offer a range of resources.
Cisco, in late May, launched a series of new products and services to address the transition. Those included USGv6-compliant support, specifically IPsec v3, for IPv6 virtual private networks on Cisco's ISR G2 router platform, to transition to dual-stack IP environments, and location/ID separation protocol (LISP) offered on Cisco's routing and switching platforms for simplifying dual-stack configuration. Other offerings included the Cisco Network Optimization Service, and the addition of analytics for doing IPv6 device-readiness assessment.
Cisco's research on enterprise readiness for IPv6 is a bit more encouraging than other sources'. According to Wenceslao Lada, vice president of worldwide channels for Borderless Networks at Cisco, 78 percent of companies Cisco interviewed during the last two years said they were at least considering the transition, and 55 percent of that 78 percent group said they needed help in understanding the capabilities.
"Enterprises are much more ready than we thought, and they recognize they need some help to get there," Lada told CRN. "Partners are the ones to fulfill that transition."
With so many enterprises embracing mobility solutions, the transition to IPv6 in enterprises and in service providers -- who provide the connectivity service in a lot of those solutions -- has to happen smoothly. Where Cisco partners can help, Lada said, is performing assessments from an infrastructure and a line-of-business perspective to see what business processes are going to be affected and what the expectations of an enterprise customer are for their mobile workforce.
"It can be difficult to aggregate all of [these functions] under a single practice," Lada said. "So the flexibility and benefit of having a professional services organization to run all these types of designs, or assess the business of the network and provide that consulting to aggregate all the different elements, is appropriate."
Many devices support IPv6 already, and/or are prepared for dual stack IPv4 and IPv6 solutions. Juniper Networks routers, for example, have supported IPv6 since 2001, according to Alain Durand, director of software engineering, IPG/CTO Group, at Juniper.
Durand, a globally recognized IPv6 expert and the inventor of the Dual Stack-Lite (DS-Lite) network address translation (NAT) solution for carrier networks, said it isn't so much the equipment upgrades that are going to cause problems for customers as it is the IPv6 readiness of applications.
"If you're looking at a big infrastructure, a lot of the routers support V6 now," he said. "That's not really the issue. It's an application issue, not an equipment issue."
Only about 0.15 to 0.4 percent of Web sites, Durand said, are IPv6-ready, and a big reason for World IPv6 Day is so participating companies can test IPv6 versions of Web sites and see what happens. A lot of the bugs and potential security issues will need to be worked out later on, Durand said.
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