– Vikas Aggarwal, CEO of Zyrion (www.zyrion.com), says:
In the 30+ year history of the Internet, the move to IPv6 will be the largest single upgrade. The clock is ticking on the availability of IPv4 addresses, and experts say IPv4 addresses will begin running out as early as December 2011. Many organizations are putting concrete plans in place to complete the migration over the next few years, and. through the first half of 2011, the awareness and activity on the IPv6 front has increased significantly. On June 8th, hundreds of governmental organizations, enterprises and service providers participated in a 24-hour, large-scale “test flight” of IPv6 technology. The event was coined as World IPv6 Day, and was organized by the Internet Society. The purpose of the event was to energize, educate and motivate organizations across the IT and communications industry to prepare their services for IPv6 to enable a successful migration as IPv4 addresses begin running out.
While much of the current focus on the migration to IPv6 is around the intricacies of making external facing websites and services (e.g. DNS) work cleanly in a hybrid world, as well as the use of IP addresses to interconnect distributed server, storage and network elements, organizations need to also be thinking about internal controls, management systems and frameworks as part of the transition.
A key aspect of transitioning to IPv6 technology involves ensuring that the right IT, cloud and network monitoring software systems are in place to assure the performance of complex networks, data centers and cloud infrastructures. For distributed organizations, where services may be tied to partner or remote IT infrastructure, the preparation to deal with a hybrid IPv4 and IPv6 world has to be done much more proactively. In some cases, the IT services being managed by an IT group in one department may link to data center components and applications of other departments, which could be using different IP versions. If the IT organization is on the hook to deliver against agreed to SLAs or performance levels to users and business constituents, then it needs to have visibility into the health and performance of the broader IT infrastructure that is part of its scope of coverage.
It is time to start taking steps to trial and implement network and IT monitoring software systems that can seamlessly monitor IPv6 and IPv4 applications, servers and network devices in a hybrid environment (see http://www.zyrion.com). Given that hybrid environments will coexist for a while, these monitoring solutions will enable organizations to uniformly discover and provision IPv6 devices, and collect and analyze performance data, all within one integrated system that supports IPv4 devices as well. Users can ignore the intricacies of managing different types of devices, and are able to benefit from a unified management and operational view of their entire IT infrastructure. Being able to capture performance metrics from the full IT and cloud infrastructure, and then correlating the data and linking this to supported business services is critical to ensure the effective delivery of services and assure business operations in the new dynamic environment. These systems address this need by providing a service-oriented, end-to-end, performance view, whether IPv6 based or otherwise.
Although your organization may be taking preliminary steps towards implementing IPv6 compatible infrastructure, being prepared in advance by having the management tools in place will ease the process as you make the transition from an all IPv4 to a hybrid to a fully converted environment.