Are you using IPv6?

This month marks the deadline for agencies to make their network backbones capable of handling IPv6 traffic. The mandated implementation was accomplished in a short time with the yeoman service of the National Institute of Standards and Technology in developing standards and guidelines.

But this first step merely sets the stage for adoption. The basic capability must be available in the infrastructure, but there is no requirement yet for turning it on and using it.

Now comes the fun part. The backbone is ready, and most endpoints are running operating systems that support IPv6. Microsoft officials even claim that their Windows Vista prefers IPv6, and I believe them: The operating system certainly does not seem to like running IPv4 applications. So it is time to start taking advantage of the capabilities offered by IPv6 by running new applications and services on your networks.

I'd like to know how you are putting IPv6 to work. If your office, agency or department has found a way of using the protocols to provide new services or capabilities, drop me a line at and tell me about it. Please include your contact information.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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