As this year comes to an end, our march towards IPv6 seems to be a little bit of a mixed bag. On one hand it appears that great strides have been made in raising the awareness that IPv6 is coming and there likely isn’t much that can be done to slow it down. On the other hand it feels like vendor support for IPv6 has either slowed or, in some cases, taken a step backwards.
Cisco, for example, started pulling existing IPv6 features from the 870 series of routers (possibly others, but I’ve only run across it on 870s — so far). Their rationale, however depressing, does make sense. The features were added to the code years ago and just kind of sat there, used by very few customers. Then, in the last year as IPv6 interest started to pick-up, people started opening bug reports on Cisco’s implementation. Rather than allocate the engineering resources to fix the problems, Cisco decided to remove the features. From a business perspective, I can’t really fault them on that; as far as I can tell IPv6 is still only used by forward-looking people inside the industry for testing and non-critical applications.
We did start to see some IPv6 content from mainstream providers did with Netflix’s streaming via IPv6 and Google’s IPv6 DNS Whitelist, but unfortunately progress is still hindered by a lack of widespread consumer adoption; enabling IPv6 on your money-making website is more likely to cost you money in lost traffic than increase it.
Will 2010 be the year we start seeing widespread support? It should be an interesting 12 months.