Does IPv6 ring a bell?

A surprising number of federal officials don't know much about Internet Protocol version 6, even though the technology could solve many of the problems that federal information technology managers face, according to a study released today by Juniper Networks.

Only 7 percent of the study's respondents considered IPv6 to be "very important" in meeting their IT goals, while 64 percent said they do not have written transition plan to move from IPv4 to IPv6. Moreover, 60 percent said that they believe IPv6 will play no role in helping them achieve their IT goals, or that they are unsure whether it will.

However, the Internet technology could indeed be very useful in solving what the respondents listed as their top concerns, said Thomas Kreidler, vice president of federal systems at Juniper. Those concerns include improved quality of service, improved and simpler cybersecurity, and improved network management, all cited by more than 80 percent of respondents.

Juniper and other companies have an “education” opportunity to let managers know that IPv6 can solve those problems, he said.

Makers of networking equipment, such as Juniper and Cisco, hope to sell new equipment to organizations as they adopt IPv6.

Juniper released their study results on the same day that the Government Accountability Office released a report on IPv6 subtitled, "Federal Agencies Need to Plan for Transition and Manage Security Risks." The report found that except for within the Defense Department, federal agencies in general have not even started planning for moving to IPv6.

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