1.7. IPv6 Status and Vendor Support
As previously mentioned, IPv6 is implemented in most up-to-date versions of routing and operating systems. For standard applications, assume that IPv6 support will be added with their next major release at the latest. For creating an IPv6 integration plan for your corporate network, you will need to assess the status and degree of IPv6 support with each vendor individually. Many vendors have an information site that can often be found at .com/ipv6">http://www.<vendor>.com/ipv6.
It can be said that IPv6 support up to the network layer is mature, tested, and optimized. This includes routing, transition mechanisms, and DNS. DHCPv6 was standardized in 2004, and early implementations have been available in select platforms since 2005.
Development is most active in the quality of service, security, IPv4/IPv6 MIB integration, and Mobile IPv6 areas. Currently, there is a lack of support in the areas of network management, firewalls, and proxies. Vendors such as Cisco, Checkpoint, Juniper, and many others are working on these areas. The application area is continuously developing, and new applications will appear on the market that will make use of the advanced features of IPv6. Thanks to the transition mechanisms mentioned earlier, you can still use IPv4 applications in IPv6 networks. Worldwide development goes beyond infrastructure, as the showroom in Japan demonstrates.
Now you know why you should care about IPv6. The rest of the chapters in this book aim to make learning about IPv6 a joy. So please read on.