Why it’s important for small businesses to prepare for IPv6 now
You know that nagging feeling when there’s something you need to do but you keep putting it off and putting it off. Well, an e-mail newsletter titled “No IPv6 plan? You’re behind schedule” landed in my inbox this morning. It’s a nudge for companies of all sizes; even small businesses, to prepare for the next-generation Internet.
Why should you care about IPv6 when you’re quite happy with the current Internet?
The next-generation Internet that I’m referring to is based on IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6). Every device that accesses the Internet; smart phones, televisions, security cameras, notebooks, wireless access points, and so on; needs a unique IP address. Your service provider provides the IP address for you each time to access the Internet. The address is currently taken from the batch of IPv4 addresses. But that batch is fast running out. (Check out the cool real-time IPv4 Exhaustion Counter widget , which estimates that all IPv4 addresses will run out by May 20, 2011.)
IPv6 is the next-generation of IP, which has a greater number of address spaces. This will enable the Internet to grow to millions of times its current size, in terms of the number of people, devices, and objects connected to it.
Here’s an amazing fact to put it in perspective: If the address space of IPv4 was represented as a golf ball, then IPv6 would be approaching the size of the sun.
If you’re a small businesses selling unique goods or services, the deployment of IPv6 means more and more people are getting online and potentially seeing your website.
That’s the business potential of IPv6, but does it make a difference to the way you work? Yes, and that’s why you should begin preparing for it now.
Start planning now for IPv6
Device vendors, including Cisco, are building support into their products. The Cisco 300 Series Switch, for example, is. As vendors build IPv6 support into their new products, older equipment that supports IPv4 will be slowly phased out. So planning your move to IPv6 and investing in IPv6-ready equipment will help ensure that your business continues to run as the world moves to the next-generation Internet.
Have you already started planning your small business’s move to IPv6? Share your planning tips here!