"We are working very hard to attempt to not expose the introduction of IPv6 to every end user. We're tying to make it as seamless as possible," Ward says.
Juniper is committed to native IPv6 support on its main Web site rather than creating an IPv6-only Web site. Juniper says it is launching internal IPv6 micro Web sites where it will test IPv6 and IPv4 content and routing transition strategies as well as to pilot its IPv6 Web site content.
Juniper's approach to IPv6-enabling its Web site will take time. The company says it won't commit to serving up IPv6 Web content until September 2012, which is the same time frame that the U.S. federal government plans to support IPv6 for its Web sites.
"It certainly could happen before [September 2012]," Ward says, adding that IPv6-enabling the company's Web site is just "one way to measure" Juniper's progress and competitiveness in the area of IPv6.
IPv6 is the biggest upgrade in the 40-year history of the Internet. Forward-looking carriers and enterprises are deploying IPv6 because the Internet is running out of IP addresses using the current standard, known as IPv4.
IPv4 uses 32-bit addresses and can support 4.3 billion devices connected directly to the Internet. IPv6, on the other hand, uses 128-bit addresses and supports a virtually unlimited number of devices -- 2 to the 128th power.
As of October 2010, 95% of IPv4 address space has been allocated, according to Internet registries that delegate blocks of IPv4 and IPv6 addresses to carriers and enterprises. Experts say IPv4 addresses could run out as early as this December but will certainly be gone by the end of 2011.
The American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) and other Internet policymakers are urging Web site operators to support IPv6 by Jan. 1, 2012, or risk disenfranchising users with IPv6 addresses by providing them with slower, less-reliable service.
"In 2012, we expect to see new broadband customers being connected to the Internet via IPv6, and Web sites that are IPv6-enabled will have the best performance reaching those customers," says John Curran, president and CEO of ARIN.
No immediate impact