IPv6 Close to Becoming Reality

Lyla Katz

LOS ANGELES — A recent report suggests that by 2015, about 17 percent of the Internet will be using IPv6 protocol and more than a quarter of newcomers to the Internet will be using it.

Although the numbers indicate that IPv6 will continue to make up a minority of Internet traffic for the next few years, they represent a large and rapid increase in that traffic.

A recent scan by Infoblox, a vendor of IP address management tools, indicated that the percentage of zones under the .com, .net and .org top-level domains now supporting IPv6 increased 20-fold in 2011, to more than 25 percent of the zones sampled.

Experts say supporting IPv6 on a DNS name server is not the same as having people actually using the protocols.

“The percentage of IPv6 traffic, while it has been increasing, is still very small,” said Cricket Liu, general manager of the Infoblox IPv6 Center of Excellence.

He says managers and administrators should use this breathing room to learn about managing the new protocols and planning for their implementation, rather than waiting to address these tasks under the crush of a shifting paradigm.

Budgets are tight and a shift to new networking protocols might have a low priority, especially when maintaining and defending networks under the old protocols is taking up all of a webmaster’s time.

But trying to manage and defend a network under a flood of the new packets will be a lot more expensive and troublesome, experts say.