Friday, December 28, 2012

IPv6: When will it really happen?

I was looking through some old drafts in this blog, stuff I had never posted, and noticed one I had written about IPv6 in 2010.  I had started to learn about the details of IPv6 in 2010.  I know it's been coming for a while, but there really hasn't been a lot of pressure.  Need perhaps, but not pressure.

IPv6 is a scary thing to most people.  People are bad enough with the 4 octets of IPv4, but even some of the shorter IPv6 addresses can be downright frightening to them:


This would invoke a WTF from most people.  Thankfully those types of  people will never have
to deal with this.  DNS in all its wonder and glory will be needed more than ever for the ordinary person.

The real question is when will we actually use IPv6?  I know why we need it, but using it is another thing.  I hear from my Windows admin coworkers that when they call in for a support problem to Microsoft and there is a suspected network issue, one of the first things they want is for you to turn off IPv6 (if you can).  Not a thrilling endorsement.

Even worse is that one of the fastest growing consumers of IPv6, mobile phones.  Mobile phones are not really ready for IPv6.  Last check, my Blackberry doesn't support IPv6.  Supposedly Apple has been supporting it since iOS version 4.1, and Android since 4.2 but I hear it's a bit buggy and not actually useful.  So, right now IPv6 is not deployed on a lot of carriers simply because the handsets aren't ready.

So if the mobile operating systems haven't completely gotten their act together, then how long will it be before developers actually start worrying about IPv6?  It's sad to say that we're still a few years away.  I know IPv6 launched this June 6th but I believe the adoption rate is only about 1%.  Some Internet transit providers I've called don't even offer IPv6 feeds and a lot of the residential ISPs still don't offer IPv6.

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