McFarland gave the example of a customer in Asia with an IPv6 address trying to access a U.S. banking application that only supports IPv4. "They can't get to your portal," he said, explaining that companies need to upgrade their Internet edge to allow access by both IPv4 and IPv6 users to corporate Web sites.
The same argument is being made in the U.S. federal government, which must support IPv4 and IPv6 on all externally facing Web services by Sept. 30, 2012 under an Obama Administration mandate. Agencies must upgrade their Web, e-mail, DNS and ISP services to support IPv6 by this September and all internal Internet services to IPv6 by September 2014.
"The number one federal driver for IPv6 is business continuity," said Dale Geesey, COO of Auspex Technologies and an adviser to federal CIOs regarding IPv6 deployment. "The other drivers are modernization, to reduce complexity and to enable ubiquitous security."
The U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs, which is already 99% compliant with the Obama Administration's IPv6 mandate, said it has been working on IPv6 deployment since 2006.
"In the business model of the VA, it's about continuing to move services out to the customer, i.e. the veteran, as much as we can possibly do it, and that goes for healthcare and other benefits" said Steve Pirzchalski, director of the Office of Telecommunications and IPv6 Transition Manager at VA."We foresaw that we were going to have to be in the business of moving an organization of 500,000 people and multiple lines of business to IPv6. We did a lot of it through tech refresh for cost control reasons. It's about business continuity for the VA."
Pirzchalski pointed out that the VA has moved beyond the Obama Administration IPv6 mandate by setting an internal deadline of 2015 for having all of its computing applications and network resources run IPv6 only. "We don't want to keep two networks [IPv4 and IPv6] running indefinitely because of security risks and cost control reasons," he added.
Ron Broersma, chief engineer for the U.S. military's Defense Research and Engineering Network, took the argument about business continuity one step further: "The business case for IPv6 is business survival. The killer app is the Internet itself."
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