IPv6-Only World On the Horizon

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Ten years after the initial release, the National Institute of Standards and Technology announced a new revision of the United States Government IPv6 profile. The USGv6 profile ensures government agencies the products they buy are IPv6-capable, and the profile gives them a way to communicate their IT needs to suppliers.

The UNH InterOperability Lab (UNH-IOL) is the USGv6 test lab for North America and over the past ten years we have seen hundreds of unique devices come through for testing. The first release of the profile pushed suppliers and manufacturers to make their products IPv6-capable. With the profile updates we are excited to see how it can help further IPv6-only deployments worldwide.

First and most importantly, the new revision includes the latest specifications from the Internet Engineering Task Force to stay current with IPv6 developments. The profile also expands its reach into areas such as the Internet of Things (IoT), IPv6 transition mechanisms for IPv6-only networks and support for cloud and IPv6 applications. Government agencies want to ensure when a product is added to their network it will be functional in all IPv6 environments.

The definition of IPv6 capabilities has been separated to allow users to create their own sets of requirements based on their specific needs. Aligning capabilities and users lets vendors use product testing results for several different programs. This drives down costs for suppliers since they can execute testing once for several different programs.

The IPv6 Ready Logo Committee is a group of six labs from all over the world. They share resources such as test plans and technical expertise and work together to ensure the testing of IETF specifications are aligned. Their collaboration eases the testing process for vendors.

The updated profile is now available for public comment with an official release date of early 2019. After the release, suppliers will have two years before test results from the original profile are no longer accepted.

With new groups pushing requirements for IPv6, we hope to see implementation and adaptation rates for IPv6 increase. We hope we can spare you the lecture about how we are running out of IPv4 addresses.