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IPv6 Migration Takes Longer, Is More Difficult

We have a report from the Google development organization that they have been trying to convert, since 2008, internal systems from IPv4 to IPv6.(1) Google has 200 offices worldwide, serving about 30,000 employees. So far only 95% of Google has been converted.

Google has learned that an IPv6 migration involves more than just updating the software and hardware. It also requires buy-in from management and staff, particularly from busy administrators. It requires a lot of work with vendors to get them to fix buggy and still-unfinished code.

The number of seat converting to IPv6 is limited. Google’s development organization is centrally managed and does not have the administrative problems that are likely to be encountered in other organizations.

If a sophisticated firm, such as Google, is taking more than three years to perform IPv6 migration, the prospect of DoD achieving this result in the foreseeable future is questionable.

DOD IPv6 Policy was released, June 9, 2003. GIG transition was to be completed during FY 05 to FY 07. After 2008 IPv6 would be a mandatory standard. DISA was directed to acquire, manage, allocate, and control necessary IPv6 address space for DOD. The IPv6 conversion goals have not been met so far.

Meanwhile, continuation with the IPv4 protocol continues to be viable. (2) How long can DoD persist without upgrading of its protocol is a question that needs to be addressed? New DoD systems continue to be developed at the rate of over $10 billion/year. New applications need policy-level guidance how to proceed with the inclusion of IPv6 protocols because it will have to be implemented ultimately.


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