Many admins have resisted embracing IPv6 for various reasons that I often don’t understand. Most often, they claim they don’t have the time or resources to devote to the task; they also argue that there isn’t a business case to support IPv6 because 99% of all Internet traffic is still IPv4.

I’ll spare you the details of why IPv6 is needed; there are hundreds of websites out there describing the protocol and how it works. I work for a small business that employs roughly 150 people and I’m here to argue that anyone resisting the change to IPv6 is dead wrong and needs to get with the program. Resisting the IPv6 change is like resisting swapping out your 56k modem for a cable modem because your 56k modem “just works”.

The IPv6 implementation was easy. Money wasn’t an issue; the only cost I’m incurring is the added overhead of running an additional virtual machine on my server farm. (By the way, if you haven’t started planning for virtual servers, we have a whole other set of problems to deal with). Every major operating system that’s been released in the past five years has built in support for IPv6, so you can’t blame it on lack of OS support (If you’re not keeping current with operating systems, that’s another large problem that I’ll discuss in a future post)

The change wasn’t disruptive; 99% of the people that work here have no idea what IPv6 is and don’t really care, they just want the Internet to work. I fully implemented IPv6 over the course of one Tuesday morning and no one knew that a drastic change was made. If they would have looked closely, they would have seen that their machine now had an IPv6 address instead of just an IPv4 address, but that’s it. The Internet still worked the way it was supposed to, they were still able to get their email, and they were still able to look at Facebook on their lunch hour; for them, life hadn’t changed.

As for the business case, I would argue that IPv6 can be grouped in with disaster recovery or car insurance; sure, you may not need it right now, but what happens when you need it a few months down the road and you’ve done nothing to prepare?
Like I mentioned, we fall into the small business category, and we’re generating a bunch of Internet-bound IPv6 traffic…if we generate this much traffic, just think how much traffic a medium or large business would generate…

[carl@IPv6Router ~]$ vnstat -m
month rx | tx | total | avg. rate
Sep ’12 1.24 GiB | 221.08 MiB | 1.46 GiB | 4.71 kbit/s
Oct ’12 16.25 GiB | 2.62 GiB | 18.88 GiB | 59.12 kbit/s
Nov ’12 19.80 GiB | 2.62 GiB | 22.43 GiB | 72.58 kbit/s
Dec ’12 30.40 GiB | 3.36 GiB | 33.76 GiB | 105.75 kbit/s
Jan ’13 88.96 GiB | 13.81 GiB | 102.77 GiB | 321.86 kbit/s
Feb ’13 96.19 GiB | 5.13 GiB | 101.33 GiB | 351.35 kbit/s
Mar ’13 1.65 GiB | 96.33 MiB | 1.74 GiB | 288.45 kbit/s
(vnStat is used to monitor traffic on Linux and BSD-based systems)

Businesses that continue to rely on NAT and IPv4 with no plans to upgrade risk letting their competitors pass them by, resulting in lost sales and lost market opportunities. If you’re stuck on where to begin or have a problem, contact us, we can help.

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