There is an interesting article in today’s Wall Street Journal about the impending shortage of IPv4 IP addresses (forcing tech companies and cloud providers to scramble to secure the remaining stock for U.S. users) and the IPv6 solution.
But what should you be doing now? To the extent you are involved in negotiating internet-related infrastructure transactions, you should be thinking about adding in IPv6-capability provisions, including, as appropriate, commitments regarding upgrades. There is a real cost to becoming IPv6-compatible, as companies have to purchase new network switches and routers. According to sources quoted in today’s Wall Street Journal article, only 9% of the Internet community has done that so far, and such a company-wide migration may cost as much as 7% of a company’s annual IT budget. Thus, since this can be a significant financial issue, best practice would be to capture any understandings in the transaction documents.