IPv6: Where Are We Now? - Page 2

By Drew Bird | Posted Feb 26, 2001
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Although wireless is one of the areas in which we will see IPv6 manifest itself, other areas are fast gearing up for IPv6 implementation. One of the less visible uses will be IPv6 networks that allow IPv4 networks to connect to each other. Already a number of network hardware vendors are offering products that can be used as IPv6 edge devices, allowing a secure IPv6 network to be used externally while retaining the investment in IPv4 networks internally. Other areas in which IPv6 will become heavily adopted include secure communications and Voice over IP implementations. These areas of adoption will be largely unseen by the masses, who nonetheless will become reliant on the functions that IPv6 provides in these situations.

Further Development

CrossLinks

For more information on IPv6, visit playground.sun.com/ipng or the IPv6 Forum Web site at www.ipv6forum.com.

CrossNodes article: "The Next Version of the Internet Protocol - IPv6"

I must say, though, that even if the IPv6 revolution does not appear on the front cover of every technical magazine or Web site, it is not for the lack of development work. Although the actual development of the IPv6 standard is being performed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), other developmental parties and groups are continually working toward the introduction and integration of IPv6 on a global scale. One of the most active of these groups is the IPv6 Forum, whose 60+ members read like a Who's Who of the networking and telecommunications industry. Many universities and other educational establishments also have IPv6 working groups.

Taken separately, all this information points to something big brewing. Taken as a whole, it means much more: The large-scale deployment of IPv6 is more a question of "how soon" rather than "when." Whatever happens over the next few years, we can be reasonably sure that IPv6 will be a major feature of the IT landscape in the near future. How long in the future? If you were to ask me for a vaguely educated guess, I'd have to say, "in a few years." //

Drew Bird (MCT, MCNI) is a freelance instructor and technical writer. He has been working in the IT industry for 12 years and currently lives in Kelowna, BC., Canada. You can e-mail Drew at drew.bird@tecmetrix.com.

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