After years of discussion, IPv6 is becoming a real-world infrastructure issue for data center operators, as seen in several announcements this week of new implementations. IPv6 is the next generation of the internet Protocol, and will dramatically expand the number of addresses available for web sites, as well as millions of mobile devices with Internet access.
NTT America said Tuesday that it has expanded its presence in five Switch and Data facilities to provide IPv6 access to its backbone. Dedicated hosting specialist SoftLayer announced today that it now supports IPv6 across all its data centers in Dallas, Seattle and northern Virginia.
Only 4 percent of the Internet's networks support IPv6, although the availability of IPv4 addresses is growing limited. About 150 million IPv4 addresses were assigned in 2008, and approximately 570 million remain, according to a recent summaryof IPv6 deployment by Penn State's Derek Morr.
NTT America, the U.S. subsidiary of Japan's NTT Communications, expanded its operations in Switch and Data facilities in Atlanta, Dallas, New York, Seattle, and Palo Alto, Calif., providing ISP customers in those data centers with direct access to NTT's international IPv6 backbone.
Switch and Data said the NTT deal is a direct result of its early support for IPv6 at its PAIX peering exchanges. "IPv6 connectivity is critical for U.S. firms conducting international business, acquiring or merging with foreign companies, and working with foreign governments, and we're excited that NTT America is rapidly growing its network with customers across our footprint," said Ernie Sampera, chief marketing officer for Switch and Data.
"With more and more people using the Internet, more mobile devices accessing the Internet and social networking sites becoming ever more popular, the time to upgrade to the new Internet protocol is now," said Kazuhiro Gomi, CTO of NTT America.
SoftLayer Technologies said today that it has implemented native IPv6 support across all its data centers, customer portal and API.
Ric Moseley, SoftLayer's Vice President of Engineering, said the Dallas provider wants to stay ahead of the adoption curve. "While the rollout and implementation of IPv6 throughout the industry is still in its early stages, it will be a requisite for our customers, and we want them to be able to begin benefitting from it now,” said Moseley.
In addition to the IPv6 rollout, SoftLayer said it has increased connectivity to its Washington, DC and Seattle data centers, bringing the SoftLayer’s total backbone network capacity to 200Gbps.