But even as many companies plan their migrations to IPv6 - so far, 1,550 Web sites, 45 ISPs and two home router vendors have committed to World IPv6 Launch Day - they are also purchasing hundreds, thousands, even millions of IPv4 addresses to ensure smooth Internet operations during what's expected to be a decade-long transition from IPv4 to IPv6.
The Obama administration issued a directive in the fall of 2010 that requires agencies to support IPv6 on their public-facing Web services by the end of this federal fiscal year. There is a second step to the Obama administration mandate that requires agencies to support IPv6 on their internal, operational networks by Sept. 30, 2014. It's unclear what the consequences of not meeting the mandates will be.
What IT managers need to know about IPv6 today
If you are a Windows shop, the good news is that Microsoft has been preparing for IPv6 for years and almost all of the latest Microsoft wares support it. Some, such as Windows Server 2008 R2, depend heavily on it for certain features. But that doesn’t mean firing up IPv6 in a Windows environment will be effortless.
First, you need to change your mindset when talking about IPv6 address requests. Remember, for the regional registry, IPv4 addresses are now a scarce resource and it has had policies in place for a while to conserve them. For IPv6 the whole process is turned on its head.
The whole world has become interested in the next-generation Internet protocol gun to watch IPv6 in earnest. Here's one expert's list of the top thought leaders shaping IPv6 adoption.
Like it or lump it, you're going to need to add IPv6 to your network. Here's how to start.
Looking for practical, non-biased advice about how to deploy IPv6? The Internet Society has launched a Web portal that will be a central resource for standards documents, best practices, case studies and other useful information for network engineers planning to adopt IPv6, the next-generation Internet Protocol.
Scott Hogg, author of "IPv6 Security" shares his 5 must-dos for IPv6 security, a favorite script, and a personal philosophy that favors hard work.
The depletion of IPv4 addresses is turning the spotlight to the Internet's numbering system.