IPv6: Ready or Not

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2007-05-04 Email Print this article Print

With a government mandate and Vista support, IPv6 is here—security gotchas, missing support and all.

Way to go, vendors of low-end routers and intrusion detection and prevention systems—you're a stumbling block on Bechtel's path to the next-generation Internet.

"We're doing [both IPv4 and the next-generation IPv6 networks], and we anticipate doing both for a number of years," said Fred Wettling, a Bechtel Fellow who manages technology standards and is sponsoring the enterprise IPv6 challenge within Bechtel. "This creates a challenge from the security standpoint of making sure the security mechanisms will do tracking [and] protection on both v4 and v6 concurrently."

The problem, he said, is that "some people making security products are not quite there yet," with "there" meaning product support of native IPv6 connectivity. "That's kind of frustrating."

Why does Bechtel want IPv6? Imagine the company rapidly deploying employees to New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, which the construction outfit in fact did. With the vast IP addressing space IPv6 has ushered in—its main draw—and its ability to turn every notebook, cell phone or other IP-enabled gadget into a server on the peer-to-peer network that IPv6's endpoint-to-endpoint architecture enables, post-Katrina recovery would have been markedly different. For example, trailers could have been connected to each other dynamically once the IP cloud was established, with no work required from Bechtel's IT people.

Read the full story on eWEEK.com: IPv6: Ready or Not

Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for eWEEK.com and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on eWEEK.com, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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