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The pending transition to a new addressing protocol for
Internet-connected devices will likely create new business
opportunities for IT product, service and support companies, according
to CompTIA, a nonprofit trade association for the IT industry. A survey
of 400 IT and business decision makers in the United States found that
just 31 percent of respondents believe the transition to Internet
Protocol version 6 (IPv6) will be mostly smooth.

The CompTIA survey, conducted in March, found that while there is
awareness of IPv6, actions taken for the transition have so far been
minimal. Just more than half (56 percent) of the organizations surveyed
indicated that they are following news on IPv6, and 30 percent have
conducted deeper research into the implications. However, only 21
percent have actually performed network upgrades and nearly one-third
(31 percent) have done nothing at all.

“While some organizations may have sufficient IT staff to handle
IPv6 transition tasks internally, many others will likely choose to
outsource the work,” said Seth Robinson, director of technology
analysis at CompTIA. “Technology vendors, resellers and managed
services providers may have opportunities to engage their customers not
only for hardware and software sales, but also for education and
consultation on how to navigate the transition.”

A CompTIA whitepaper, The Basics of IPv6, examines some of the
issues organizations may face in transitioning to the new protocol. The
whitepaper is available free via the CompTIA Website, and explains
every Internet-connected device is assigned an IP address, a unique
identifier for each device.

Just as telephone numbers route phone calls to the correct phone, IP
addresses route data to the correct device. IPv6 is a new addressing
protocol introduced to provide a virtually limitless address space.
With billions of devices already connected to the Internet and no let
up in demand due to the proliferation of smart devices, the current
addressing system – IPv4 – has exhausted its supply of addresses. There
will be many different IPv6 transition scenarios, depending on the
priorities, needs and capabilities of each organization, according to

“Companies with high demand for IP addresses, such as Internet
service providers, cable companies and wireless carriers, need to be
right on top of this issue because they’re going to be running out of
addresses,” he explained. “Many other firms will have no immediate need
to make the transition because their supply of private IPv4 addresses
is sufficient to meet their requirements. Complete transitions are
expected to take five years or more.”