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How Do We Help the Feds Transition to IPv6?

June 1, 2012
at 11:59 am PST

With Cisco’s participation in World IPv6 Launch less than a week away,  IPv6 is definitely top of mind.  Those of us who work in the federal space are also focused on the IPv6 transition deadline that is coming up on September 30th, 2012.  The  OMB Mandate issued in September of 2010 by Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra states that the federal government must “Upgrade public/external facing servers and services (e.g. web, email, DNS, ISP services, etc) to  operationally use native IPv6 by the end of FY 2012”.  According to a Network World article written by Carolyn Duff Marsan, a whopping  99% of Federal Agencies have not yet met the conditions of the mandate.

Why has it been such a challenge for the government to meet this IPv6 transition deadline?  And what needs to be done to help make it happen?

One of the problems is that there has been a lack of  IPv6 support  by government contractors, (including carriers ),   content delivery networks and  network equipment suppliers.  Network equipment must be  “IPv6 certified” to enable government customers to meet the deadline.

Cisco has been leading the way with IPv6 certifications, with a majority of products supporting IPv6 for well over a decade.  Our USGv6 product list is testament to the fact that we are committed to helping our government customers succeed, but it will take more than just IPv6 certified network equipment to help the government successfully make the transition.

The Veteran’s Administration is among the 1% of federal agencies that have successfully transitioned to IPv6.  How did they do it?   By linking the IPv6 transition as an imperative to the VA mission and future IT success.  Their methods and best practiced should be used as a reference for how to accomplish this task.

For those of you in the DC area, if you want to get a update on the outcome of World IPv6 Launch, and more information on how the Veterans Administration successfully transitioned to IPv6, please consider attending  the Digital Government Institute’s  Government IPv6 Day, where all these topics will be covered.

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