Although not completely factual, there is some truth to that headline. When the Internet was developing, back in the 1970's, a numbering system was devised to uniquely identify every device on the Internet. This number is known as an Internet Protocol, or IP, address. (To determine the IP address of your computer, visit http:/www.whatismyip.com). The general form of an IP address is a maximum of three digits followed by a period, followed by three more digits, followed by a period, followed by three more digits, followed by a period, followed by three more digits. This notation is known as IPv4. For example 44.444.444.4 could be a valid IP address. (Because of this known form, IP address is also what hackers use to bring into your computer. Firewalls help stop that activity). This numbering system allows for around four billion addresses. Problem is that they are running out, as the people who devised IPv4 could not predict the rapid growth of the Internet and the amount of mobile and portable devices that are attached to the Internet. IPv4 numbers are expected to run out by September 2011. (Oh no, not a 9/11 conspiracy to halt Internet growth!!).
Good news. There is a new protocol being developed called IPv6. This numbering system will provide trillions of new IP addresses. The problem is that businesses are slow to adapt their technology to IPv6. The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) has reported that fewer than 0.1% of US users have adopted IPv6. Scary thing is that this puts the United States in fourth place in terms of the percentage of IPv6-capable users. The leaders are: France, with 1% of users having adopted IPv6; China with 0.4%; and Sweden with 0.1%. Any change in mission-critical technology can caused businesses to move cautiously. Unfortunately, with the deadline looming, businesses need to get on the ball. The other problem is that, although IPv4 and IPv6 are designed to work together, they can be some installation problems. The faster business implement the problem, the less down-time they may be experience around crunch time.
For more information, have your tech people visit any one, or all, of the following Web sites
Bottom line is get informed and get prepared so we can grow with the Internet.