Although it has been in the work for a decade, the next-generation Internet protocol IPv6 has failed to excite the interest of key decision makers in the federal government and private sector, according to a survey by equipment vendor Juniper Networks.
Juniper's Federal IPv6 IQ Study found that less than 7% of respondents consider IPv6 "very important to achieving their IT goals," despite the fact that the protocol is designed to address, among other things, many of the quality of service, security, and network management issues that concern them. The Federal government is particularly indifferent to IPv6 and lags well-behind the private sector in migration planning and awareness.
"The federal government and the vendor community need to work together to educate IT decision makers on the benefits of migrating to IPv6," Juniper Federal Systems vice president Thomas Kreidler said in a statement. "As the leading provider of end-to-end IPv6-enabled solutions, Juniper Networks is committed to working with the federal government to help ensure a smooth transition to this next generation protocol with high levels of network assurance and intelligence."
Published by the Internet Engineering task Force in RFC2460 in 1995, IPv6 provides a larger IP address space and provides native support for packet encryption, header authentication, IPsec virtual private networking, multicasting and dynamic address configuration. A hard deadline for widespread IPv6 implementation is looming despite decision makers' lack of interest; according to some estimates, the number of IPv4 addresses will run out by 2010.