This article was written by Barry Bahrami who is the CEO of Commercial Network Services.
In part one, I reviewed the problem created by an Internet that has simply become too big for IPv4 addressing. Part two covered specific issues that IPv4 only providers – and their customers – can expect to experience by refusing to deploy IPv6.
This final part will review the future of IPv6 in online trading and provide action tips that I hope everyone will promptly adopt to avoid certain issues in the future, while also keeping all customers natively connected.
The internet waits for nobody
Eventually all software and edge providers will natively support IPv6. They may not realize it now but if they intend to remain relevant in the space then they will need to. The internet waits for nobody – you lead the way, keep up, play catch-up or die. Catch-up is costly and dying is not an option.
Apple is leading the way through two initiatives. One is a latency preference favoring IPv6 over IPv4. The second is a requirement for iOS developers to support IPv6. I am not clear how iOS developers will develop IPv6 software for financial services if those same financial services only support IPv4. As more initiatives favoring IPv6 over IPv4 are introduced, IPv4 only providers and their customers have only to lose by not adopting IPv6 as soon as possible.
With time running out before big ISPs decide that IPv4 addresses are simply too expensive to keep buying up for a short term gain, the prudent thing for edge providers to do is start enabling IPv6 in their network and API’s now, in anticipation of future software platform support.
Adopting IPv6 will also bring certain benefits:
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True end-to-end connectivity – without NAT. I don’t think many techs will consider NAT a good thing. It’s an extra layer of translation that simply does not need to be there. It can be the source of connection failures too and avoiding it whenever possible is a good thing.
There is evidence that IPv6 traffic may actually be lower in latency end to end than IPv4. While the data is mixed right now because much of it contains 6 to 4 translation, it is a fact that IPv6 headers are simplified compared to v4, and should lead to faster routing of packets. I expect this will continue to evolve, favoring IPv6, as the protocol becomes more mainstream.
Security – IPv6 has too many addresses for anyone to scan. This means threats to your network must find IP addresses by other means.
Adopting IPv6 will reduce cost to end-users. Providers like CNS must acquire IPv4 addresses in order to assign them to our hosted servers. As IPv4 costs continue to rise, they will obviously be passed on to customers which results in unnecessarily higher retail prices for everyone.
Selling off unused IPv4 space should bring in easy money, provided they are sold before they become worthless.
Stop waiting for the other guy to implement v6 first – get your network IPv6 operational as soon as possible. There is nothing to be gained by waiting any longer and it’s never going to happen with everyone waiting on someone else to make the first move.
This will be everyone’s problem and it will require everyone to get involved to resolve it. It is the only way to ensure a smooth transition for the retail traders who rely on your service.
Reach out to your software vendors and demand IPv6 support. Make it clear to them that you consider this a very high priority item. Follow up often and make sure they are progressing.
And for the software platform providers, you seriously need to get on with it – yesterday. Keep in mind that whatever customer base you have can quickly erode away if something new and better comes along. IPv6 is a no brainer. What are you waiting for? The IPv4 Internet is NOT getting any bigger – it can’t. If you want opportunity for growth, IPv6 is it.