[menog] IPv6 - A Worthwhile Change and Restructuring for Middle East Businesses (Article)

Abdelfattah Abuqayyas aabuqayyas at citc.gov.sa
Wed Oct 6 10:24:55 GMT 2010

IPv6: A Worthwhile Change and Restructuring for Middle East Businesses

Organisations in this region should not miss out on this opportunity to
implement Ipv6 technology. If they want to continue to grow their
business and increase their online presence, they must now begin the
migration process towards IPv6, says networking expert, Ali Ahmar,
Regional Sales Manager, MENA, Brocade Communications

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - 4th October, 2010 :  Ten years ago or so,
computer scientists, researchers and internet specialists announced that
a day would come when no more internet protocol (IP) addresses would be
available. At that time, the number of businesses that took this
prophecy on board was few and far between. However, with the huge and
widespread development of the internet and the growing number of items
likely to have an IP address, it appears that those predictions were
indeed accurate. If we decide to retain the same IPv4 protocol that the
internet currently relies on, in the next three or four years we may
find ourselves faced with a shortage of IP addresses. This means a
business will not be able to install new servers, create new
internet/intranet/extranet projects or develop smart objects.

Fortunately such a disaster is not likely to occur because engineers
from all around the world have worked to develop a new protocol, IPv6,
the standard adopted in 1998 and which has subsequently been
implemented. IPv6 is both revolutionary and yet classical in design. If
the engineers are to be trusted, the solution is revolutionary because
it will create an infinite number of new IP addresses, enough to
anticipate the next decade at least.

Therefore, IPv6  will be able to integrate the billions of smart
communication objects that soon will be part of our day-to-day lives. If
today's internet is still synonymous with computers or smart phones,
soon our very own surroundings will be connected to the network (such as
cars, heating systems, refrigerators - the latter may soon be able to
tell you which food and beverages you have run out of) and will be able
to exchange information. However, IPv6 also has a very traditional
conception as it amalgamates all the patches that have been added to
IPv4 over the years and improves them. Many contributors to the standard
have also got used to adding new features to make IPv6 more robust,
efficient and secure. It is rare to see a ready-to-use technology become
available and which is more efficient than the previous version and
recognised by the entire computing community. Consequently, its
promotion is not driven by marketing considerations.

Installing IPv6 will have a great impact on businesses, but there will
be challenges. As with any technology infrastructure, IPv6 is complex to
implement and integrate and the transition cannot take place without
careful consideration (both beforehand and after installation)
especially in terms of training staff adequately etc. Some companies are
still reluctant and are deterred by technological difficulties or
economic constraints, but if their reluctance is legitimate they must
understand that it is better to undertake a smooth transition today
rather than being forced to accept something they are inadequately
prepared for tomorrow. This is foolish especially when all the elements
have been combined to make this changeover as smooth as possible.

Aware that sudden technological breakthroughs often result in failure,
IPv6's designers have been smart enough to create a new protocol that
can coexist with the old IP standard on the same infrastructure. This
dual mode on which the two protocols work together aims to ease the
transition and will give users the best of both worlds while enabling
rapid uptake. For their part, suppliers, original equipment
manufacturers (OEMs) and integrators are prepared to assist
organisations to immediately undertake this switchover. They have all
the know-how necessary to efficiently support their customers during
this transition.

Organisations should not miss out on this opportunity. If they want to
continue to grow their business and increase their online presence, they
must now begin the migration process towards IPv6. Rather than a
constraint, this strategy will offer tremendous opportunities to grow
and offer new services to customers. It will help businesses to
penetrate new markets and become more competitive and productive. Today,
more than ever, a migration process to IPv6 appears to be a necessary
structural change for businesses.

Channel opportunities

The imminent shortage of IP addresses resulting from the older IPv4
means that sooner rather than later the channel will have to embrace the
new IPv6 protocol. As the network encompasses ever more elements in
everyday life (not just in business), providers and consumers alike will
see the need for extra IP addresses grow rapidly.

How does this migration present an opportunity to the channel?  As
Organisations mull over the pros and cons of transitioning to the new
protocol, the channel has the opportunity to educate businesses about
the risks of not embracing IPv6 and thereby be seen as strategic
advisors. In this role, the channel can strengthen relationships with
customers and cement its position as trusted partners that drive
business transformation.  This is a win-win situation.

Moreover, it also lays the foundation for organic revenue growth as
customers will likely return to the same channel partner for counsel in
the future.



Abdelfattah ABUQAYYAS, PhD
ICT  Counselor
CITC-KSA    Mobile: +966556642230

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