Poll Shows Divisions Over IPv6
Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) support for IPv6 in its products is essential if the controversial protocol is to succeed. So say 78 percent of readers who responded to the Unstrung IPv6 poll.
However, this is just about the only thing that respondents to the poll agreed upon. IPv6 is one of those topics that splits the wireless community right down the middle.
Internet Protocol (IP) version 6 extends IP addresses from 32-bits to 128-bits. This -- the specification's supporters say -- will help to avoid an impending Internet address shortage, as millions of new Internet-capable wireless devices come on the air within the next few years.
However, there has always been a lively debate in the industry about when IPv6 will be needed, or even if it will be needed. Some say that IPv4 could be used -- with suitable workarounds -- for years to come.
43 percent of the readers agree that IPv6 is vital to connect millions of new wireless devices and enable new data services. Yet 40 percent say there is no immediate need for IPv6 in wireless, although it will become important in the future.
There is also clearly a hardcore of readers that see no need for IPv6 whatsoever. 16 percent say it doesn't offer much for wireless services "that can’t be achieved with IPv4 workarounds"; 14 percent say that with or without wireless ”IPv6 is a dead duck"; and 14 percent say that IPv4 will continue to be the dominant IP address protocol well into the future.
However, the majority of respondents believe that IPv6 is coming -- it's just not clear exactly when. 27 percent say it will be widely used within 5 years; 29 percent expect it to become dominant within 10; 29 percent say the protocol will gradually be adopted for key tasks.
So where does this leave equipment and software vendors looking to get in on the IPv6 market? 40 percent of the poll-takers believe that there are niches in the market that new vendors could thrive in. However, nearly as many -- 37 percent -- say that support is a non-issue, as "any good vendor already supports dualmode v4/v6." Only 24 percent believe IPv6 products represent "a great chance for new players to establish themselves."
However, it is pretty clear from the poll that new companies looking to make a name for themselves with IPv6 will need to look East. A whopping 69 percent of the poll's respondents say that the Asia/Pacific area will lead IPv6 adoption. Europe and North America score 17 percent and 15 percent, respectively.
You can see full results of the IPv6 poll here: Wireless IPv6.
And while you're in the zone, why not take the latest Unstrung poll? What's the Future for WLAN in the Enterprise?. — Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung