So, here we go again…….
First it was Y2K that just didn’t happen & now we have the ongoing debate about IPv6. To me it looks the same the late 1990s in the leadup to Y2K.
Go back to the months and years before January 1, 2000, and it seemed two oppossing viewpoints were gaining ground demanding CIO’s & CTO’s paid attention to this cataclysmic risk by devoting large amounts of money from annual budgets.
OK, let me paint a picture for you.
The WORLD was going to plunge into darkness anything that was controlled by a computer was at risk. BONG! at the stroke of midnight it would all stop. No airplanes - planes would just fall from the sky, lights would go out, Banking would go into meltdown & the very infrastructure of our world would CRASH.
Summary: Oh my God - panic! Run for the windows!
“Why” I hear you cry!
Because programmers years ago decided to save only two digits in the date field.
On the other side the Naysayers, calmly looked at it & said, "Nah, Don’t think so, it's cool." Go about business as usual and don't bother with it.
Tuddah! We now bring you the IPv4 vs. IPv6 debate.
Is the Internet as it's been designed using IPv4 is running out of IP addresses to assign. Not good, as the number of network-connected devices, the Iphones, Laptops & Crackberries, etc is expected to keep expanding wildly for the foreseeable future--unless, of course, they can't even get on the network because the fundamental underpinning of the technology, the IP address, has run its course.
One side argues that the Internet is already out of IP addresses, and if we don't move everything to the new IPv6, which supports a nearly infinite number of IP addresses, the Internet-connected world will grind to a halt.
On the other hand, you've got a camp that argues that thanks to Network Address Translation (NAT), there's still a tremendous number of IP addresses available, so everything will be fine, potentially forever.
So, on, World IPv6 Day, The Big Boy Internet companies will flip the switch on their network to run on IPv6 for 24 hours, just to see what happens.
Are there millions of addresses left, or are we already out?
I’m hoping that the Integrators will step in just like Y2K, they knew there was the potential for problems & started planning, testing, identifying, solving, poking, prodding and torture-testing to bring things up to date an Integration testing methodology was born out of this so, maybe one good thing is that an umbrella of Quality Testing could start surrounding IP rollouts.
I think there are some challenging times ahead, at the least, testing to find out parameters for the Internet in general but especially within the needs of business.
Think about it, on the one side the panic saying invest money with this new IPv6 kit with tempting offers but on the other hand thinking: If I’m careful & use my ability to steer successfully through the process without having to rip out & replace every bit of networking gear my company has ever purchased I can save serious amounts of money.
Personally I’m starting to think a two-protocol world will be around for the next decades.
BBCnews website explanation