Topic: Time to get over your fear of IPv6
I am still amazed how many conference attendees, IT Professionals, Developers, Managers and CxO level people I meet throughout the year that answer my question of “What is holding you back from deploying IPv6?” with “fear.”
They don’t actually say “fear” but their answers can all be summarized by that word. Fear that they lack the knowledge. Fear they don’t have the talent. Fear of the unknown. Fear of potential problems. Fear of outages. Fear of having to rewrite applications. Fear their security solutions don’t support it. Fear their auditors won’t approve an environment with it. Fear their database won’t work right. Fear their kids won’t love them anymore. Fear, fear, fear.
All of these fears can be addressed by one word: Planning.
Plan a training and education program for IPv6 to overcome the lack of knowledge. Plan on growing talent in-house through training and education. Plan on hiring appropriate talent to help where needed. Plan your IPv6 project, that addresses the unknowns. Plan for outages and impacts. Plan for testing applications so you know if you have to rewrite them. Plan for getting the right security solutions that support IPv6. Plan for IPv6 conformance in your audits. Plan for discovering if your database will work on and with IPv6. Plan, plan, plan! (I can’t help you with your kids).
Once you have done the planning, the fear is removed and you can move on to the next step: Deployment. There is a huge difference between those that plan and those that deploy. Deployment gives you operational knowledge and hands on experience you can never replicate through preparation alone. It is critical in gaining true knowledge of how IPv6 will impact your environment. This means running proof of concepts labs, pilots and narrowly scoped production rollouts. If you don’t deploy, you will still have the fear factor. Jump. Trust me – I have worked with numerous companies and I have watched this in action. Deployment is an important step and helps tremendously with confidence levels.
So, what is the short list to get going? How do you give your team, yourself and your partners experience with IPv6? Start small with a tiger team. Empower that team (made up of people who WANT to work on something fun and cool) and give them a lab. It doesn’t have to be a separate lab from what you run today and it doesn’t require more than time and a small investment in resources. Give them permission to fail, to break things, to explore and learn. You will find that the fear will disappear. You will discover true roadblocks, true challenges and hopefully a clear plan of how to proceed will emerge.
I won’t use this space to argue why IPv6 and why now, that is covered in other posts. I just wanted to address the biggest challenge I have come across over and over: Fear. Let’s overcome the fear and deploy IPv6.