Survey: Agencies not ready for IPv6 deadline

Federal agencies are supposed to have their network backbones upgraded to IPv6 by June 30, under a directive the Office of Management and Budget issued in 2005. However, only a third of agency leaders are confident that they can meet the deadline, according to a survey.

ScienceLogic conducted the survey, drawing its sample from high-level federal officials who attended the FOSE trade show in Washington earlier this month. Drawing on 107 responses, ScienceLogic found that 6 percent said their agencies are ready now and 22 percent think they will meet the deadline. But another 33 percent said their agencies will not be ready in time, and the rest aren't sure.

IPv6, the Internet protocol that will eventually replace the current IPv4, features the ability to accommodate a much larger number of unique IP addresses, and is more secure. The OMB mandate applies only to the core network components, not to the applications that agencies will need to implement to gain the real advantages of the protocol.

“It’s the first step in the process, and it’s an important one," said David Link, chief executive officer at ScienceLogic. "If you don’t have the core of the network running [version 6], you can’t go on to the next step.”

Other findings of the survey:

* Eighty-five percent consider virtualization to be important, but only 15 percent have a solution in place. Virtualization allows the consolidation of servers so a much smaller number of machines are needed to meet the organization's needs. Virtualization technologies are still maturing, one of the few reasons Link said agencies are moving forward slowly.

* Almost 75 percent said green information technology is important to them, but only 13 percent have any tools in place. Link said most of the respondents detailed their own personal actions -- such as setting their computers to enter sleep mode after a short time of idleness -- rather than agency initiatives.

* Web 2.0 may be catching on fast. About 65 percent of the respondents said Web 2.0 tools are important, and 52 percent have specific plans to have Web 2.0 solutions in place by next year.

About the Author

Technology journalist Michael Hardy is a former FCW editor.

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