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Monday, December 12, 2005

Could a U.S. Shift to IPv6 Cost $75B?

Moving to IPv6 will present a number of challenges for the U.S. federal government, not the least of which is the associated price tag, which could hit $75 billion.  A new 63-page report issued late last week by the IPv6 Summit and Juniper Networks offers U.S. federal agencies a bevy of suggestions on how best to go about transitioning to IPv6.  The government is supposed to be on a relatively rapid path toward IPv6 migration since the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) mandated (PDF file) this past August that the federal government move to IPv6 by June 2008.  Last week’s report, titled “IPv6 Best Practices World Report Series: Guide for Federal Agencies Transitioning to IPv6,” recommends that federal agencies develop a business case for moving to IPv6, centralize their migration tactics and define metrics to help track transition progress.

IPv6 is a new communications paradigm that requires a different approach.

It is also recommended that agencies look at IPv6 as a convergence technology as much as a networking technology.

In terms of infrastructure for IPv6, the deployment of IPv6-capable DNS (define) services is noted to be one of the first infrastructure components that should be undertaken as part of a deployment plan.  “The technology challenge was not really as great as the planning,” Dale Geesey, one of the authors of the report, told

Lou Ann Brossman, director of federal marketing for Juniper Networks said that there are no surprises in the report.  “The value that it brings is that it was designed to serve as a guide for federal agencies transitioning to IPv6.  It’s also valuable because it is based on global interviews, surveys and public presentations on the transition,” Brossman told

Alex Lightman, chairman of the IPv6 Summit, told that among the items left undone is defining who will be in charge and who can devote undivided attention to the transition to IPv6.

Posted on 12/12