It's not really a choice of whether agencies will move to the next-generation Internet Protocol, it's a matter of when. And the "when" can't be that far off because IP Version 4 addresses will likely be depleted within 10 years — 15 at the most.
Research based on current address assignment rates suggests the IPv4 address pool will run dry sometime between 2016 and 2021.
So what should you do to prepare for the next version, IPv6? The Government Accountability Offices says
agencies need to do six things:
- Inventory IP networks and equipment and assess likely risks during the cutover.
- Develop a business case for the transition.
- Set policies and enforcement mechanisms for the move.
- Figure out costs — including software, hardware, implementation and maintenance of IPv4 and IPv6 service.
- Create a timeline and decide on a method for thetransition: Will the agencyrun a dual stack networkwhere hosts and routers can support both IPv4 and IPv6 traffic or will it tunnel IPv6 traffic on an existing IPv4 network?
- Revisit network security to make sure the agency takes into account new risks created by IPv6 software and equipment.
The Office of Management and Budget is pushing agencies to decrease — and ultimately do away with — appropriations for the cross-agency E-Government Initiatives, in favor of supporting them directly through fees.
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