Thursday, 16 June 2011

IPv6 - What's that got to do with The Cloud?

It seems like Y2k all over again. Another scare for the software industry and a chance for charlatans to sell 'snake oil' remedies for protection. Is that IPv6?

Nope. This one is not optional and there will be change. But there will still be charlatans selling snake oil.

You know all those silly little numbers we only get to see when something goes wrong? You know the clusters of 4 three digit numbers separated by dots that all look the same? Yes, the IP addresses. Well like London telephone numbers a few years back, in that format there are only so many of them you can have as the number of possible combinations run out soon as all the possible permutations are close to exhaustion. IPv6 solves that by introducing hexadecimal and changing the formats so that the theoretical limit is, err, limitless. Well near as dammit.

You see as the numbers of users and logical devices have exploded on this thing we call the Internet, World Wide Web, gizmo, thing, the chaps who invented the address system didn't realise its potential and so their original system has run out of steam.

So there will be a transition to the new format. US Federal agencies are moving swiftly while Enterprises are well behind in terms of understanding the implications, according to research. And therefore there are opportunities for the Channel to become trusted experts in the change.
Once again it is all about how software handles the new structure of the IP address. Most have the current format embedded within them and so it will test IT Manager's skill, patience, planning and skills to get to the nub of which vendors are prepared and which are not and what to do about it. When the full change occurs, we may find several devices sitting there not being able to be addressed and therefore not work.

Why is The Cloud important in IPv6?

Here is a case in point. Enterprises and Government departments will spend fortunes investigating, planning, preparing and tackling the issue. But what happens to SMEs? How can they afford to go through another Y2k scare - and this one is non-optional and fundamental?
This is where The Cloud plays a part. By effectively outsourcing large tracts of your IT applications to The Cloud, these are updated automatically and almost daily, so the worry of such enormous changes is mitigated. Cloud based applications will be ready, prepared and updated well in advance and automatically - all included in the price.

This is an enormous benefit of The Cloud to SMEs and it is why it is so crucial to their future. The Cloud not only handles mundane and key tasks in the ether but it means you get the new features and debugs immediately plus you get the advantages of scalability as well. All for a single, smooth monthly cost, making sure that major changes like IPv6 does not make a sudden dent into capital or IT budgets when you can put that money to better use on growing your business.

IPv6 is a profound change for everyone and is an illustration of why The Cloud is of great importance for the future for SMEs.

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