November 16, 2010, 1:43 PM — It's surprising that Juniper will admit to being two years behind arch-rival Cisco at anything, let alone a development related to IPv6, the next-generation Internet Protocol.
After all, Juniper was boasting about enabling IPv6 across all of its platforms and interfaces back in 2002. Juniper was at the forefront of shipping IPv6-ready firewall and VPN gear in 2004. And Juniper was the first to have its routers certified as IPv6 capable by the U.S. Defense Department in 2007.
But when it comes to IPv6-enabling the content on its Web site -- www.juniper.net -- the network equipment vendor concedes that it will lag Cisco's Web site by as much as two years.
IPv6 is the long-anticipated upgrade to the Internet's main communications protocol, which is known as IPv4.
In August, Cisco began testing IPv6 on a dedicated Web site: www.ipv6.cisco.com. Cisco said it is running IPv6 in alpha mode, and that it is working towards supporting IPv6 addresses on its main Web site, which is www.cisco.com.
Juniper says it won't create a separate Web site for end users with IPv6 addresses, which is a shortcut to providing IPv6 content. Besides Cisco, other sites that have taken this approach include Facebook, Netflix and Comcast.
"We could have our Web site accessible by IPv6 the same way that Cisco and others are doing it. We could have an intermediary gateway that receives IPv6 queries and translates them to IPv4. That's an extremely fast way to get it done, but it's also not in the spirit of trying to enable IPv6 on the Web," says Dave Ward, Juniper Fellow and the CTO of Juniper's Infrastructure Products Group.
Instead, Juniper plans to support IPv6 on its main Web site in a way that will be transparent to users with IPv6 addresses.