Updated: The efforts to convert corporations to the next-generation Internet addressing scheme are falling on deaf ears, according to research from Ovum. The analyst firm reports that a mere 3 percent of web traffic is IPv6-enabled and enterprises either aren’t convinced of the need to switch, or think they already have. The mentality seems to be “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” and so far, nothing seems broken.
However we’re already seeing some notable signs that the IPv4 pool is shrinking, including a $7.5 million deal by Microsoft (s msft) to buy up some unused IPv4 addresses. For consumers, the lack of IPv4 addresses may add a little latency to web requests, but it’s not like they won’t be able to visit their favorite web sites unless their ISP (like mine) doesn’t get its act together. Check here for your readiness. However, new devices such as a smartphones and tablets will come online which will force enterprises to adopt IPv6 or increasingly clunky mitigation standards. From the Ovum release:
…[O]ne of the major reasons for enterprises’ lack of urgency is that there are still plenty of IPv4 addresses available, meanwhile issues such as a lack of return on investment and more pressing IT priorities are also playing a part. “Most enterprise customers assume that having plentiful IPv4 addresses alleviates any need to make the move; it is just not that simple,” commented Sapien… [T]here are some triggers that will motivate enterprises to make the move. For instance, the growing number of new consumer devices, such as smartphones, that will be assigned IPv6 addresses, and the new web applications that will be accessed by these devices.
It’s hard to get people excited about a changing Internet addressing scheme, especially since the consequences of doing nothing are slightly less efficient networks and more workarounds to keep the older structure in place. Reminds me of politics.
Updated: Someone sent me an awesome video on the dangers of one of the more popular IPv6 workarounds implemented by ISPs. These dangers include difficulty targeting ads to individuals as well as making it hard to geo-locate users. Here it is.