Internet Protocol (IP) is how we connect to anyone and anything on the Internet. Every participating device, application, or service has a distinct address - a way to identify itself and communicate with other devices, applications and services. Today’s IP standard, IPv4, dates back to the 1970s. It allowed for 4.3 billion unique IP addresses, which was more than sufficient to meet the computing demands of the time.
But we’re approaching a breaking point, fueled by growth of mobile adoption, increased pace of public cloud adoption and the explosion of new end points with Internet connectivity. This will likely force enterprises that work with customers and business partners via the public Internet to move to version 6 as their primary communication method in the next two or three years.
This is a daunting task for which action should not be deferred much longer. IPv4’s sunset is no longer a question of if, but of how soon. Telecommunications, hardware and systems software providers, and content providers have been leading the way - ahead of customer and enterprise demand. Organisations should follow suit promptly.