CIO Council looks to IPv6's future

Now that the initial deadline for agencies to upgrade their Internet backbones to IP Version 6 has passed, the CIO Council is working on guidance for the next phase.

Pete Tseronis, senior technical adviser in the Energy Department's CIO office and chairman of the CIO Council's IPv6 Working Group, said the working group is interested in communicating with industry. He's hoping to have some new guidance out by the end of August, he said today, speaking to a meeting of the American Council for Technology/Industry Advisory Council's IPv6 shared interest group.

The government "could easily come out with a big memo saying ‘do this,’" Tseronis said. "I’d rather it be a discussion with industry to say, ‘What’s realistic?’"

IPv6 is the next-generation IP. It allows a much larger universe of unique IP addresses and stronger security controls than IPv4, the current standard version. Agencies were to upgrade their backbone networks to the new protocol by June 30, but that's only a preliminary step. Now they can begin the harder, but ultimately more rewarding, work of figuring out how to implement IPv6 applications to take advantage of the new capabilities.

It's important that all parts of an agency have the same understanding of their IPv6 goals, Tseronis said. The executive leaders of an agency shouldn't make promises the operations team can't keep.  

The potential of the protocol is tremendous, he said. In the future, many kinds of devices could have IP addresses and communicate via the network. For example, soldiers could have IP-enabled ammunition containers that would send alerts when supplies run low.

Reaching that future requires commitment, he said. “This isn’t about getting a good grade on the president's score card" or complying with an Office of Management and Budget mandate, he said.  

Eventually the whole government will be a native IPv6 environment, Tseronis said.

“Someday we’re going to get to where we need to get to," he said. "The question is how soon.”

About the Author

Technology journalist Michael Hardy is a former FCW editor.

Featured

  • Cybersecurity

    DHS floats 'collective defense' model for cybersecurity

    Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen wants her department to have a more direct role in defending the private sector and critical infrastructure entities from cyberthreats.

  • Defense
    Defense Secretary James Mattis testifies at an April 12 hearing of the House Armed Services Committee.

    Mattis: Cloud deal not tailored for Amazon

    On Capitol Hill, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis sought to quell "rumors" that the Pentagon's planned single-award cloud acquisition was designed with Amazon Web Services in mind.

  • Census
    shutterstock image

    2020 Census to include citizenship question

    The Department of Commerce is breaking with recent practice and restoring a question about respondent citizenship last used in 1950, despite being urged not to by former Census directors and outside experts.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.