IPv6 Market Drivers

IPv6 helps open doors for new revenue stream opportunities by enabling new applications and enabling enterprises to expand their businesses globally. The four primary factors driving IPv6 adoption, as illustrated in Figure 1-1, include

■ IPv4 address considerations

■ Government IT strategy

■ Infrastructure evolution

■ Operating system support

IPv4 Address Consideration

• IPv4 address depletion

• Globalization: limiting expansion of enterprise into emerging markets

• Mobile devices, inefficient address use, and virtualization

• Mergers and acquisitions

Government Regulated Strategy

• Government regulators: U.S. federal mandate, Japan

• Emerging country government regulations: China, Australia and New Zealand, etc..

• IPv6 "on" and "preferred" by default (Windows 7)

• Specific applications driving IPv6 adoption (Server 2008)

Operating System Support

• Next-generation network architecture requires IPv6

• DOCSIS 3.0, Quad Play

• Mobile SP, Networks in Motion

• Networked Sensors, i.e. AIRS

Infrastructure Evolution

Figure 1-1 IPv6 Market Drivers

The following sections describe the key market drivers shown in Figure 1-1.

IPv4 Address Considerations

The following IPv4 address considerations drive the need for IPv6:

■ IPv4 address depletion: The growing number of applications and global users are fueling the demand for IP addresses. The number of devices that are "always on," such as smartphones, Internet appliances, connected automobiles, integrated telephony services, media centers, and so on, are also increasing. IPv4 provides 4.2 billion (4.294 x 109) addresses. In today’s global and mobile world, it is only a matter of time before IPv4 addresses are exhausted. Although the primary reason for IPv4 address exhaustion is the insufficient capacity of the original Internet infrastructure, new business drivers including globalization, the explosion of mobile devices, virtualization, and mergers and acquisitions have pushed the IPv4 technology to a limit where we need to evaluate new technologies like IPv6 to further extend the life of the Internet.

■ Globalization: The network today enables all enterprise business transactions. As enterprises move into emerging markets to expand their business, the network needs to grow, and more IP addresses need to be allocated.

■ Mobile devices: Because the cost of embedding substantial computing power into handheld devices dropped, mobile phones have become viable Internet hosts and increase the need for addressing.

■ Inefficient address use: Organizations that obtained IP addresses in the 1980s and early 90s were often allocated far more addresses than they actually required. For example, large companies or universities were assigned class A address blocks with more than 16 million IPv4 addresses each. Some of these allocations were never used, and some of the organizations that received them have diminished in size, whereas other organizations then left out of these large address block assignments have expanded.

■ Visualization: A physical system can now host many virtual systems. Each of these virtual systems might require one or multiple IP addresses. One example is with Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and the deployment of Hosted Virtual Desktops (HVD).

■ Mergers and acquisitions (M&A): When one company acquires or merges with another, this often causes a conflict or "collision" in the RFC 1918 IPv4 private addressing scheme. For example, one company might run a 10.x.x.x address space, and the company it acquires might also use this same address space (as seen in Figure 1-2). Many companies deploy a NAT overlap pool for a period of time, where both companies communicate with each other over a nonoverlapping address space such as 172.16.x.x. This enables the hosts at both companies to communicate until one of the sites is readdressed.

 IPv6 Overlay Model - Resolving M&A Address Collision

Figure 1-2 IPv6 Overlay Model – Resolving M&A Address Collision

IPv6 is used in this scenario to help ease the M&A burden of colliding address spaces by the deployment of an "overlay" network using IPv6, where critical systems and hosts are enabled for IPv6 operation and communicate with each other over this overlay network. This enables the rapid connection of hosts while buying time for the IT staff to either readdress one company’s IPv4 network or to better deploy a dual-stack IPv6 network at both companies.

Government IT Strategy

National IT strategies and government mandates across the globe have caused many enterprises and service providers to implement IPv6 to better support these government agencies (that is, private-sector companies working with government agencies). One example of how a government mandate influences the private sector to deploy IPv6 is when multiple U.S.-based defense contractors rapidly started their planning and deployment of IPv6 to support the U.S. federal IPv6 mandate of June 30, 2008. Many of these companies not only peer with federal agency networks but also provide IP-enabled services and products that would one day require IPv6.

Infrastructure Evolution

The underlying infrastructure for the Internet, and emerging developments in verticals such as energy management, power distribution, and other utility advancements, have matured and grown in size to the point of applying pressure to existing technologies, products, and IPv4. The evolution of technologies in SmartGrid, broadband cable, and mobile operators now require more and more devices to connect to the Internet. Regardless of the use case or technology, all these maturing technologies and use cases either already or soon will depend on IP as their means of communication. IPv4 cannot support these demands, and IPv6 is the way forward for each of these areas of development.

Operating System Support

All widely deployed operating systems support IPv6 by default. These operating systems enable IPv6 addresses by default, thereby accelerating the adoption of IPv6 in enterprises. Key operating systems include Microsoft Windows 7, Server 2008, Apple Mac OS X, and Linux. Many enterprises are finding that IPv6 is used on their networks without their knowledge because of the default preference of IPv6 over IPv4. IT staff realize that they must understand and implement IPv6 in a managed way to control the behavior of IPv6, but also to embrace the capabilities of IPv6.

Summary of Benefits of IPv6

Market drivers or initiatives that often occur externally to the enterprise are at times forced upon an enterprise from the industry they are in or by other external forces (for example, Internet IPv4 address exhaustion), whereas others are beneficial to the enterprise based on business or technical advantages. Table 1-1 summarizes a few of the many benefits for an enterprise to deploy IPv6. Several of these have been talked about in this topic already, and many will be expanded upon throughout this topic.

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