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Sustaining business continuity in a dual-protocol environment
IPv6 represents one of the most significant technology changes in the history of the Internet. With the growing number of online users around the world and the proliferation of smart devices, IPv4 exhaustion will become a major information and communications technology issue over the next three years. Any organization that relies on the Internet to any extent must be prepared to support IPv4’s successor, IPv6.
This next-generation protocol is the key to continued growth of the Internet, solving the problem of IPv4 address depletion and providing seamless connectivity. IPv6 also offers a number of improvements over IPv4 that deliver business and technical advantages.
Because all existing IPv4-based infrastructures will continue to work after the last IPv4 address is issued, enterprises may be tempted to put off transitioning to IPv6. Postponing the inevitable, however, can put an enterprise at a competitive disadvantage. As more and more customers operate in an IPv6 world, companies supporting only IPv4 risk being shut out of high-growth markets because they are unable to reach—or be reached by—these customers. To sustain seamless, pervasive connectivity with consumers, partners, and businesses around the world, organizations need to be able to communicate in a dual-protocol environment that will ultimately become IPv6 only.
The transition process for allowing IPv4 and IPv6 systems to communicate requires careful planning to keep the end-to-end model for Internet applications, such as those used for e-commerce or business-to-business (B2B) communications, from breaking down. To minimize the expense and impact of the transition, a phased deployment is recommended.
This paper looks at IPv6 drivers, the business benefits of IPv6, the need for a well-managed transition, and guidelines for achieving both short- and long-term goals.
Hewlett-Packard Development Company