IPv6: The Future is Now - Page 2
The ability to diagnose problems is yet another pitfall of the current protocol.
"It's much harder to manage and understand the network when it's not working properly," he noted. "The situation is complicated because it comes at the same stage where we are trying to convince everyone to move all applications and commercial traffic onto the Internet. If the world is going to depend on the Internet, it's important to maintain a robust and reliable infrastructure. It's a serious problem."
The major infrastructure providers and equipment manufacturers agree on this point and are moving to implement IPv6. Cisco is among the most aggressive in this area. They have announced an IPv6 translation router that is slated for release later this year.
Meanwhile, they've made IPv6 available in their IOS software release 12.2(2)T. The IPv6 upgrade is available as a free download from Cisco's website. The upgrade covers the majority of their currently available routers. According to a Cisco press release, "Cisco is delivering the industry's most widely tested and deployed IPv6 router solution."
In addition to Cisco, Intel, 3Com, Ericsson, Telebit, Hitachi, Nortel, and 6WIND have or are working on solutions for implementing IPv6 and/or translating from IPv4 to IPv6. Host support is available for BSD (Berkeley Systems Development), Compaq, Hewlett-Packard, Linux, Microsoft, SCO Unix, and Sun Microsystems operating systems as well as others.
IPv6 is not perfect. It's a compromise that grew out of a lot of tradeoffs. "It builds on the architecture of IPv4, which has proven to be very successful. But we're at the stage where the original design is at its scaling limits. We need IPv6 to restore the ability of the protocol and keep the original design going," said Deering.