One less reason to adopt IPv6?

Cisco, Microsoft promote DHCPv6 instead of autoconfiguration

What early adopters are doing

This debate matters to corporate network managers, who are going to have to choose whether they want to migrate to IPv6 with autoconfiguration or DHCPv6.

This is especially true for U.S. federal IT departments, which are under a mandate to support IPv6 on their backbone networks by 2008. The federal mandate doesn't specify DHCPv6.

Federal agencies "are still trying to determine what the best route is going to be to transition to IPv6," Cisco's West says. "There is a lot of discussion about DHCPv6. I absolutely believe that DHCPv6 will happen in the federal market based on the need for information assurance. We think it's going to be critical for transition."

One early IPv6 adopter that's interested in DHCPv6 is Bechtel. The engineering services giant has 9,900 of the 18,000 computers on its network running IPv6. Bechtel has been using the IPv6 autoconfiguration feature because DHCPv6 wasn't available in Windows XP. "One of the things we like about Vista is that it does support DHCPv6,"says Fred Wettling, Bechtel's manager of IT standards and strategies. The company uses DHCPv4 for its IPv4 clients and autoconfiguration for its IPv6 clients, he says. "Over time, having one place where we control everything will be handy," he adds. "We'll start implementing Windows Server 2008 which supports DHCPv6, but we're still going to be in a mixed mode for awhile."

Wettling says IPv6 autoconfiguration has "served us very, very well. The performance is good and predictable."

In the meantime, the debate between DHCPv6 and autoconfiguration continues. "There's been an ongoing discussion for years," Cisco's Droms says. "There's still a constituency with a loud voice that says we ought to get rid of DHCP altogether. Some network administrators don't see the need for that kind of control and visibility into their network addressing assignments, and they see running a DHCP service as a significant operational expense."

Droms predicts most enterprises will spend the money to support DHCPv6, however. "In a network environment where a network administrator wants to know what hosts and what devices are connected to the network and what addresses those devices are using on the network, the network administrator will want to use DHCPv6," he says. "It's very useful for debugging purposes. It's useful for accounting and useful for controlling access to the network."

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Carolyn Duffy Marsan

Network World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?