One development that will aid federal agencies' ability to meet the Obama administration's IPv6 mandate is the availability of production-quality IPv6-to-IPv4 translation services from Akamai Technologies. Akamai, a leading CDN, says it will launch IPv6 services in April. Akamai's federal customers include the Department of Defense, the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Emergency Management Administration.
Another development expected later this month is the release of Version 2.0 of a document called "The Planning Guide/Roadmap Toward IPv6 Adoption within the U.S. Government." The original version of this document was released in 2009.
IPv6 is an upgrade to the Internet's main communications protocol, which is called IPv4.
IPv6 features an expanded addressing scheme that can support billions of devices connected directly to the Internet. But IPv6 is not backward compatible with IPv4, which is running out of addresses. Network operators can either support both protocols in what's called dual-stack mode or translate between IPv4 and IPv6.
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