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Interop Las Vegas 2009 IPv6 Survey

We've heard on this site and many other trade journals that the IPv4 address space is running out (and a unique proposal about simulating outages) and that dire consequences occur if we do not act.

Last week in Las Vegas, the Interop show took place. An unofficial count of 14,000 technology buyers and enthusiasts attended. While much lower than its record (over 100,000 strong), the show is still the biggest technology show which features a major presence by virtually every networking vendor. While exhibiting at Interop, we decided to walk the Interop Expo and ask the IPv6 support question to see if the mainstream corporate and enterprise space agrees with the need to think beyond IPv4.

Thankfully, the companies that recognize this as an issue and are open to the challenge were more than happy to chat with us about it. However, it does seem like many companies are trying to control the message when it comes to IPv6 adoption. We recognized that most people first approached tried to steer us towards marketing reps before committing to a response. We decided to push anyway and got many great responses from Product Managers, Sales Engineers and Senior IT folks, as well.

"MRV has an 80% adoption in our gear," said Isaac Kim, Director, Optical Transit at MRV. "Most of the influence was driven by our military clients with some push out of Europe, as well. We're seeing this as a growing trend and are prepared."

That feedback was typical of the IPv6 supports who said it was Asia and Europe end-user demand and US Government requirements. One could say that the US Government mandate for IPv6 support was widely successful.

17 companies surveyed right at the start of Interop Las Vegas:

  • Full Adoption - 10 companies
  • Roadmap - 4 companies
  • No public comment given - 3 companies

Some general comments and observations:

  • Every company who gave a response either had full adoption or had a planned strategy in place.
  • The bigger companies plead are pretty quiet about their support or non-support. Many of the large transit providers including Verizon and Qwest simply said "no comment".
  • Overall influence is government/military based. Lots of comments about AsiaPac leading the charge.
  • Seems to be viewed as more of a trend with lots of chatter and buzz. The consensus is that companies are taking it seriously.
  • Polycom - Driven by APAC. Japan wanted it the most. Support in all HD video.
  • Xirrus - Original mandate from government. Full IPv6 in Japan.
  • Force10 Networks - Asia cares. Full adoption in all products. Government is driving implementation.
  • Breaking point - US government is doing a lot on the test side of things.
  • Shoretel - Not seeing serious customer demand. On roadmap at the edge, but more based on buzz.

By Jeremy Hitchcock, DNS and networking engineer, CEO at Dyn Inc

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