The many challenges of IPv6 migration

We spoke with Qing Li, chief scientist and senior architect at Blue Coat Systems, about what firms need to do to prepare for IPv6 migration.

Time is running out for businesses to get ready for the end of IPv4 addresses and the move over to IPv6.

A recent report noted how firms face not just operational challenges, but security threats as well.

IT PRO has previously explored why IPv4 addresses are running out and what IPv6 migration entails, but what do businesses themselves need to do in order to prepare?

We spoke to Qing Li, chief scientist and senior architect at Blue Coat Systems, about why planning is essential and what dangers companies really face.

Is the move from IPv4 to IPv6 something the businesses need to take seriously?

Absolutely. IPv6 allows businesses to do two key things: make money and save money. Businesses need to deploy the sophisticated applications and services that allow them to operate at higher efficiency levels. And in the current economic climate, they need to do this with a limited budget.

Today, many business services are offered through third-party hosting, which poses confidentiality and service outage risks. For example, business-to-business video conferencing is typically conducted through a third-party server. With IPv6, businesses have the ability to offer new external services to business partners, such as channel partners, suppliers, original design manufacturers and consultants.

With limited global IPv4 addresses, deploying these services on an infrastructure containing various degrees of Network Address Translators (NATs) can be challenging at best, and in many cases applications simply won't work.

There are some approaches that can circumvent the NAT issues. However, not without costly initial configuration and subsequent maintenance efforts. With IPv6, businesses can eliminate NATs and build a more streamlined infrastructure. In other words, IPv6 enables businesses to deploy and utilise a wide range of applications and services that address specific business needs at lower costs due to a simplified infrastructure and lower maintenance costs.

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