Companies are still hesitant to migrate to IPv6 even as there is mounting pressure from the Internet and telecommunications industry, according to a recent report by independent industry analysts Ovum.
By region, companies in the Asia Pacific are taking the lead in the shift to IPv6. Ovum attributed this trend to the recent announcement of the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC) that the free pool of IPv4 addresses has been effectively exhausted.
The Internet community is shifting to IPv6, which offers more Internet addresses - 5 x 1028 - compared to the limited addresses that IPv4 has to offer. With more devices and applications accessing the Internet, the Internet community is anticipating that more and more Internet addresses will be requested by practically anyone - such as smartphone users -- and any organisation wanting to connect to the Internet.
While other companies in other parts of the world see no urgency in shifting to IPv6, companies in the Asia Pacific, and companies doing business with companies - such as suppliers -- in the region are encouraged to shift to IPv6 before everyone else. It is mainly because these companies see the region as their growth area, according to the Ovum report titled 'IPv6 Transition - What's the Rush?'.
Many companies, governments and economists have noted that even as countries in the West are still struggling to recover from the recent global economic crisis, the Asia Pacific is seen as more resilient.
The availability of many smartphones connecting to the Internet is also seen as another trigger that encourages companies to shift to IPv6, particularly in the region where mobile devices, including smartphones are more popular.
"There may be a degree of 'head in sand' mentality among most enterprise customers, but our research stands in glaring contrast to the industry's efforts to promote IPv6 over the past several years," Ovum stated in the report. "Furthermore, our research suggests that many enterprise customers think they are already using IPv6, when they are not."
Ovum said only three per cent of Internet traffic today are running on IPv6.
Issues such as lack of return on investment, the availability of IPv4 addresses and other IT priorities are some of the reasons companies cited for not moving to IPv6 yet.
Ovum said "there are still some IPv4 addresses in reserve" but that it expects APNIC and other regions to announce the exhaustion of IPv4 addresses soon.
"Most enterprise customers assume that having plentiful IPv4 addresses alleviates any need to make the move; it is just not that simple," commented Mike Sapien, principal analyst, enterprise, Ovum.
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