Uncovering the costs and (hidden) benefits of IPv6 deployment that lead to a positive business case
Large scale IPv6 deployments suggest that IPv6 is at least a technical success – the technology works. Now it’s time to visit the other important question: does it work commercially? Does IPv6 really come with a positive business case? We are about to find out, if you help us…
Our technical community has spent about two decades making IPv6 work on a technical level. We have developed the protocol, modified and expanded a few others; we set up the registry system and distributed the addresses. In addition, over the last 10 years we have invented pretty much any possible way to encapsulate or translate IPv6, making it easier to integrate with the IPv4-based world we still live in. And we have succeeded: when in Belgium, there is about a one-in-two chance your Internet connection supports IPv6; on a global scale, Google (on a good day) sees one-in-eight customers connecting via IPv6.
Are we done then? After all, we can show that IPv6 works, even on a massive scale with millions of users. We have written all the documentation there is to write, we have educated and trained all of our colleagues and even created awareness outside of our own community about the need to transition the Internet to use IPv6. Meanwhile the IETF has already taken steps to investigate and discuss the consequences of the inevitable “shutdown” of IPv4. All we need to do is sit back, relax and wait for the IPv6 transition to complete, which is just a matter of time.
Or is it?
As part of this year’s inter-sessional work for the Internet Governance Forum (whose 2016 event will be held in Mexico this December), a group of volunteers has picked up the daring task of trying to describe the commercial and economic reality that underpins a successful deployment of IPv6. As part of the project to document IPv6 best practices, we are hoping to gather some input on the costs and (hidden) benefits of IPv6 deployment that lead to a positive business case and that will convince the product managers and boardrooms who are now stuck with the challenge of expanding their business using a finite and very much exhausted resource, to deploy IPv6 within their products and services.
Can you help us? Share how you make IPv6 work in a competitive market, share the arguments behind your business case – maybe it was just a matter of your competitor deploying it? Even if you haven’t deployed IPv6, please share your arguments or business case, as this would also help us to gain insight in what is happening here.
More information about the IGF Best Practices Forum will soon be posted on the IGF website from where you can also subscribe to a dedicated mailing list. To read my full post, check out RIPE Labs and answer our IPv6 Return on Investment Poll there as well.
Marco Hogewoning is External Relations Officer – Technical Advisor with the RIPE NCC. As part of the External Relations team, he helps lead the RIPE NCC’s engagement with membership, the RIPE community, government, law enforcement and other Internet stakeholders.