Tell Your Purchasing People: IPv6, VMware

by Bob Plankers on August 10, 2009 · 5 comments

in IPv6,System Administration,Virtualization

In the world of system administration there aren’t too many things that are black & white. Everything is a shade of gray where admins solve their own problems however they need to, bending to the local desires & needs of their users or management. Everybody is right, nobody is wrong. I’ve come to realize that, and it’s no big deal.

I am convinced, however, that if your organization does not have “fully implemented IPv6 support” and “full support under VMware virtual infrastructure” as requirements for purchasing any new hardware, software, or services, you’re doing it wrong[1][2].

Let’s assume that anything you’re buying now will last 5+ years. In 5+ years we will be out of IPv4 address space[3]. And it goes without saying that you’ll want to run things in your virtual environments, right?  So don’t let your organization buy products that are just going to make life tougher two years from now — let your management know now that things need to change. Even if IPv6 isn’t currently on your organization’s to-do list, it will be soon, whether you like it or not. Get on top of it.

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[1] Not desirables, not plusses or bonuses, but a full functional requirement for support that knocks a candidate out of the running in an evaluation if they don’t meet the criteria. You might also be tempted to say “well, if it’s on the vendor’s roadmap…” — don’t. IPv6 has been around for years, and if your vendor doesn’t have it implemented right now it isn’t a good sign. Besides, during purchasing exercises I always suggest that folks treat roadmaps as vaporware and assume that none of the features listed on them will ever ship.

[2] Yes, my organization is doing it wrong, too. On both counts. It’s getting fixed, slowly, but we should have started fixing it three years ago. Which is why I’m writing this post. :-)

[3] ARIN/LACNIC/APNIC have issued statements that we’ll be out of IPv4 space in 2010, and Tony Hain has a report on the current state of the space. Geoff Huston has a daily report and prediction on his web site, too. Hurricane Electric also has a big page of exhaustion stats. None of them are showing anything good.

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