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As most people know by now, the IPv4 address space is about to run out, and this (and other problems) can be solved by migrating to IP6.

Now I keep reading in the tech press that the migration is a gigantic effort, that problems for (some) users are unavoidable, and that countless tests are required before a migration can even be considered. E.g. Yahoo IPv6 upgrade could shut out 1 million Internet users ; IPv6 move could cause network problems, threaten cybersecurity.

I don't quite understand where these problems come from. All modern OS have built-in IPv6 support, as do almost all modern mobile devices and the infrastructure (backbone routers etc.). So what is the problem that is holding the transition back?

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Imagine auditing a data centre with 200 racks filled with 4,000 devices, many of which are years old. Imagine trying to determine what they all are, what software stack they're running, what they do, whether upgrades are available, whether the upgrades cost money, and whether their IPV6 support is buggy (which a lot of it is, because it's fairly new and hasn't had extensive use in a live environment). Now imagine testing all that to convince your board of directors that it's safe to push the switch and enable IPV6 in your network.

The specific issue mentioned in the article to which you link is that a small percentage of Internet users (maybe 0.05%) are on networks that have IPV6 connectivity enabled but non-funtional (for various reasons), so that if a website offers an IPV6 option, they will try to use IPV6 to access it, and fail (or suffer very poor performance). 0.05% may not sound very much, but it's over a million people.

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The problem is not the modern computers, hardware, OS and software for the most part. The problem is that there are millions upon millions of older devices still running, even in the primary infrastructure, that do not support IPv6, and many, many old software implementations still out there that won't support v6.

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The key part of your question is here "All modern OS have built-in IPv6 support". I know of a machine with a 1100 day uptime, and thats just off the top of my head. The task of moving everything to ipv6 is mammoth, and the amount of shonky old network gear in the average company is alarming. You'll likely see alot of ipv4<->6 bridging and dual deployments in the years ahead.

Also, most businesses wont buy into anything until right before it costs them more not to. Noone wants to be the first to do it (other than tech companies essentially for bragging rights, or being so huge they pretty much had to do it earlier than anyone else)

Even on my own little home network pure ipv6 would mean rebuying 4 network devices, and for what ? IPv4 works just fine (for now).

Also factor in training, fear of the unknown, lack of need (see "works for me")

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