On June 6 2012, the Internet Society and many major Internet companies kicked off the World IPv6 Launch. This was an early stage in a larger transition to IPv6 as the number of available IPv4 addresses diminishes. This problem has been exacerbated by the explosion of mobile and nontraditional devices driving internet usage. Google, Yahoo, AT&T and many other companies participated in the launch, signaling their support of the next generation of the Internet Protocol.
The question now becomes, is your company ready for the IPv6 revolution, and if not, how can you prepare? Content delivery networks (CDNs) are a great solution because they can help reduce the performance impact for IPv6, in addition to supplying the support. Without a CDN, your company may run the risk of service disruptions due to IP address incompatibility or excess latency.
Today, most CDNs are “dual stacked,” where their servers make data available in both IPv4 and IPv6 formats. A CDN, like the AT&T Content Delivery Network can deliver content from IPv4 origin servers to IPv6 end-users and vice versa. It makes no difference whether or not the end user and the content provider are using the same IP address format. Simply put, IPv4 and IPv6 networks run in parallel in AT&T’s “dual-stacked” CDN backbone, allowing websites to serve end users without an IPv6 gateway performance penalty during the migration away from IPv4.
What to Know about IPv6 Compliance
- IPv6 Upgrades are a Major Undertaking. Ensuring your company’s total IPv6 compliance entails software upgrades on all servers, firewalls, mobile platforms, internal networks, and customer-oriented, interactive websites. Included with this is the necessary training for your company’s IT support team. This involves long-term planning and budgeting.
- Your Customers are Your Lifeline. Interactive websites are essential to online commerce. It is imperative for companies that engage in online commerce to ensure that their websites are available to customers using both IPv4 and IPv6. Last November, eWeek reported that 25 percent of .com, .net, and .org domains are currently IPv6 compatible, and that that number can be expected to double by the end of 2012. Leading the pack in domain IPv6 implementation is the United States, demonstrating that domain IPv6 compatibility in the United States is a near-term reality, not a long-term goal.
- Get a Leg Up on Your Competition. In a recent InformationWeek survey, 38 percent of respondents had no plans to upgrade their systems to IPv6 in the foreseeable future. In addition, only 10 percent said their IT teams are IPv6-knowledgeable only 5 percent said that most of their systems are currently running IPv6. Using CDNs to make both internal-facing and external-facing communications IPv6 compatible offers a quick fix to IPv6 compatibility issues.
CDNs Offer Transition on the Path to upgrading to IPv6
CDNs ensure seamless continuity of service for interactive websites and offer flexibility in drafting financial roadmaps. In addition, using a CDN as a solution to the IPv6 transition can open up your business to the other benefits of CDNs, including reduced wait times and improved end-user experiences, meaning more closed sales and a more enjoyable online experience for users. The confluence of these factors in CDNs demonstrates their potential for assisting businesses in transitioning to IPv6.