Monday, December 5, 2011

Challenges of Implementing IP Version 6 (IPv6)

There are various challenges need to be faced by the users and developers of IPv6 to encourage adaption from IPv4 to IPv6. Below are the challenges present in implementing IPv6.

A. Budgetary Costs

A lot of surveys found out that the major obstacle on IPv6 adaption is because of the lack of funding. These users are afraid that the cost of upgrading the equipment to IPv6-ready hardware, training and even recruit the personnel with IPv6 working experience would be expensive. Because of this, they would rather keep using the existing IPv4 address.

B. Operating System, Device and Application Support

In their paper, Morton and Horton specify about the lack of device and operating system which supports IPv6 by default. From their study, the users at that time still use Windows XP which does not support IPv6 unless few configurations were made. Windows XP makes up almost 70% from total operating systems in the world. The newer version of Windows, Windows 7 has already been published and IPv6 is supported by default. From this, there should be no problem if users want to use IPv6 and no problem from operating system should exist.

Networking devices should also support IPv6 by default if they are using latest 3Com Netbuilder and Pathbuilder software, Cisco IOS software and Nortel Networks BayRS software. From the application aspect, there are still some IPv6 implementations which are still deficient in fully supporting the entire range of features promised by IPv6. This is because IPv6 is still in its development phase and it keeps evolving based on the market needs.

C. IPv4 Transition to IPv6

The change from using IPv4 to IPv6 could be accelerated if there are mechanisms that help in deploying IPv6 into IPv4 networks. However, this could also be a double-edged sword where many organizations tend to watch and wait until IPv6 reached its maturity before they fully adapt their business processes using IPv6 technology [2]. The ability of both IP protocols to co-exist with each other using dual-stack will also strengthen their beliefs that IPv4 still have a long way to go before it is removed completely.

D. Complexity and Performance Problems

As a lot of IT companies are reluctant to fully change their network to IPv6 only network, they opted to create a network where both IP protocol could be used. This is achievable using the dual stack method. However, dual stack method uses double the amount of space and data processing required to run the network. This situation put considerable pressure on the CPU and delay would be visible in the network.

There is also the problem of developing work applications that could run well in a new internet protocol. Most applications still need to be re-designed and re-coded to ensure that they work perfectly. This problem wastes considerable time and resources to the company.

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