While perusing financial news Sunday, I came across a MarketWatch article titled Disappearing IP addresses - the latest panic in tech, by John Dvorak. Curious about how a non-networker interprets the coming IPv6 migration, I read the article. But I suppose we all make mistakes.
From the article:
I have been on the "who cares about IPv6" side of the debate ever since that show and have recently concluded that maybe it is about time we moved on to a new numbering system. But not because the world is going to end. I say do it because the business needs a boost.
The author is apparently advocating a complete restructuring of the Internet addressing architecture not out of necessity but because it might generate some cash for "the business." It gets worse:
So what happens to the old routers? Well, many sources say they can be made compatible with IPv6. Oh really?
But I wonder. I suppose they can keep both systems working together with some compatibility code.
Well, that's a relief.
There cannot be a massive push to upgrade the Ethernet I/O on the computers themselves. This would be too much to bear, so we can assume your computer is safe from an expensive upgrade.
More good, if totally irrelevant, news.
Today an excellent router such as my current all-time favorite, the WNDR-3700 dual band router from Netgear, costs around $200. Expect to pay an extra $50 for the IPv6 version.
The majority of SOHO devices can potentially support IPv6 with a simple firmware or software upgrade, and SOHO router manufacturers will be implementing IPv6 as a stock feature in new routers over the coming years. Not that you'll need it until your ISP actually supports IPv6. (Comcast, one of the largest residential ISPs in the US, just recently began residential IPv6 testing last year.)
I expect to see a new moniker such as "dual protocol" or some such thing introduced. Look for it.
Gee, that sounds familiar.
The thesis of the article is this:
The key will be new routers. For the big boys that means a bonanza for Cisco Systems Inc.
Such a prediction betrays an almost complete misunderstanding of the industry. Yes, companies will need to purchase new equipment, but this happens regardless of the introduction of a new Internet protocol and at the regular four- or five-year intervals as it has for decades.
I realize I'm preaching to the choir here, but articles like this are what worry me about the IPv6 transition. The posturing of IPv6 as a money grab and the faux technical analysis in the absence of any recognizable form of research introduce additional obstacles to the worldwide adoption of IPv6, a battle which is already being fought uphill.