The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) will require all hardware and
software purchased by US agencies to be IPv6 compatible as of July 1, but making
the transition in the enterprise is a different story. As noted in this Network
Computing article, early IPv6 adoption will ensure an easier transition to the
new addressing scheme, but moving to IPv6 too early will create significant problems for enterprises.
“The change to IPv6 requires a fundamental assessment of core services and a revaluation of security of the network. ‘You need to look at testing more than just the IPv6 stack itself as IP addressing will be embedded within networking services running over that equipment,’ says Dave Kresse, CEO of Mu Dynamics, a provider of IPv6 testing equipment and services. Protocols such as SIP, SMTP, RTFP and, of course, HTTP all embed IP addressing within them. Organizations need to be sure that these and others will continue to work over their new protocol suite despite the change.
“What’s more, security will be a huge concern for organizations deploying IPv6. Years of testing have gone into insuring the security of IPv4. Organizations now need to deal with how to ensure that known exploits over IPv4 do not succeed when passed over IPv6. Similarly, tunneling schemes that include exploits in IPv6 tunneled over IPv4 will likely traverse firewalls that would otherwise have been caught over native IPv4.”