IPv6 not on the IT agenda for most enterprises

By Dawinderpal Sahota
14 Jul 2011 View Comments
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Enterprises are ignoring pressure from the telecoms industry to migrate their web operations to IPv6, despite increasingly shrill reports stating that "IPv4 addresses are fast running out", according to research firm Ovum.

One of the major reasons that enterprises lack urgency is that there are actually plenty of IPv4 addresses available, it said.

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"Customers have very limited interest in IPv6; they don't see the need to think about it," according to Mike Sapien, Ovum principal analyst.

"This data is in stark contrast to the industry's efforts to promote IPv6 over the past few years," he added.

In addition to the plentiful supply of IPv4 addresses available, companies will make very little money from the transition and IT departments therefore have other priorities.

In addition, enterprises have concerns regarding security issues surrounding IPv6, so rather than invest in IPv6 addresses, firms are buying more IPv4 addresses at the same price. For example, Microsoft recently bought Nortel IPv4 addresses for $7.4m (£4.6m), almost $16 (£10) each.

Sapien said such complacency regarding the need to move to IPv6 could be dangerous.

"Most enterprise customers assume that having plentiful IPv4 addresses means they do not need to make the move; but this may not be the case," said Sapien.

"If internet application and service providers don't continue to focus on customer education around the transition to IPv6 they might hit a wall unexpectedly which would prevent computers, network equipment, routers, servers and web infrastructure functioning as it should.

"Every enterprise needs an IPv6 transition plan."

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