IPv6 – Should You Take the Leap?

This guest post is by Stephane Bourque, founder and CEO of Incognito Software, and originally appeared on the Incognito blog.

A few months ago, I decided to try skydiving. I had been curious for years and figured it was time, but I didn’t want to do it alone, so I “convinced” a number of co-workers to go with me. On the ground, we decided the order in which we would jump out. Nobody wanted to be first, so I volunteered. Once we got on the plane, however, the order was rearranged by the flight crew according to their requirements. I ended up going last. Once I saw everyone out of the plane, floating away and the first chutes opening, I knew I would be ok. Off I went and since I am writing to you today, you can guess nothing drastic happened.

I am bringing this up as I think about IPv6. Should you take the leap? Should you be the first? Do you want to see everyone else in it before you? Unlike skydiving, you won’t have a choice about going to IPv6. It will happen. We know that IPv4 addresses are running out (check http://www.potaroo.net/tools/ipv4/). There are only 4 billion IPv4 addresses (give or take a few), but there are over 6 billion human inhabitants on the planet and we all have multiple IP-aware gadgets. You do the math.

IPv6 promises a lot more addresses. How many more? 2128 to be exact. That means 5×1028 IP addresses per person alive!

When we are out of IPv4, what happens? Depending on who you talk to, several scenarios emerge. One says that we are a resilient bunch and we will find a way to do things like carrier-grade NATing and this will buy us a few more years. Others say it’s the end. I tend to think it’s somewhere in between.

One thing that needs to happen is that subscribers need to upgrade their home devices. You know, the cable modems and the home router-firewall-gateways people are using. You will also need to have a PC and an operating system capable of IPv6. Sure, the latest versions of Windows and Mac software all support IPv6, but the Internet runs a large number of devices that are just incapable of running IPv6. There will be a price to pay. Who will foot the bill? The subscribers or the providers? I think the providers will need to subsidize the move in large part. Now is the time to make some friends in the home gateway and CPE realms.

But this switch will not happen overnight. There will be a long period where you will need to run a dual stack network. And more than likely, governing authorities will at some point declare the day where all IPv4 traffic must die, much like how the analog TV signal went. This is still years away though.

So now is the time for providers, hardware makers and software developers to get together and plan this well. There is a certain “I do not want to be the first out of the plane” attitude right now. But with a concerted effort and the right partnerships, we’ll all be safe when we land.

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Celebrate! The Day for IPv6 has arrived

  • Excuse me… did you say the internet was full?!  How could this happen?!

It’s true… well, kinda sorta.  32-bit addresses have been used for the past 30 years.  The last of these 4 billion plus addresses were released by IANA in February.  They haven’t actually all been used, but the cupboard is now empty.

Now… this is not the time to panic.  Get a hold of yourself! Some really smart people have seen this coming for a long, long time- last century, in fact.

IPv6 was originally developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force in 1998 in anticipation of this.  Despite a 12+ year history, IPv6 is still not widely deployed.  Most of the increased demand for addresses is coming from Asia; thus, they are adopting IPv6 at a faster rate.

June 8, 2011 has been declared World IPv6 Day by the Internet Society.  Major web companies such as Google, Facebook, Yahoo! and others will test IPv6 over a 24 hour period.

“What do I do now?”, you may ask.  With apologies to Kool & The Gang, I say it’s time to Celebrate good times! C’mon! Mark your calendars for June 8, 2011.

Here are a few ways to celebrate this special day:

  • Gather friends and surf the internet together.  Make it more festive with chips and sodas, much like watching the big football game!
  • Use Twitter, Facebook, and/or LinkedIn to record your every impression on this day.
  • Send cards to your friends that say, “Happy IPv6 Day!” (I’m working on developing a whole line of these… think of the millions I’ll make!)
  • It’s also acceptable to give gifts on June 8th, especially web-enabled technology.  Nothing says “I’m thinking of you on IPv6 Day!” like a new iPad 2 or Droid phone.
  • Now, the way you spend IPv6 Eve may be even more important.  Tuck the kids in bed and tell them stories of Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Mark Zuckerberg.  When they’re fast asleep, sneak into their room and place a new wireless mouse or flash drive under their pillows.  It will be well worth it when you see their excited faces as they awake on IPv6 Day!
  • Send this blog post to your friends who may not know how to celebrate World IPv6 Day.  Nothing says “I care about you” more than an informative, insightful, and sometimes humorous blog post on IPv6 Day and how to celebrate it.
  • Speaking of really smart people… if you’re not sure of how to prepare for the advent of IPv6, contact the really smart people at Halo Information Systems. They’ll be more than willing to advise you on how to smoothly make a successful transition.  After all, this may be the bestest way to celebrate World IPv6 Day!

What are your plans to celebrate World IPv6 Day?

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Cloud Computing – Is it Right For Your Business?

By Scott Herbert

Cloud computing, put simply is the use of computers located on the Internet for your day to day computing needs, including services like web based e-mail and data storage as well as more complex tasks.

Cloud computing has a number of advantages over more traditional computing; however it also has a number of weaknesses. In this article I’ll try and give you a balanced view of the pro’s and con’s of cloud computing so that you may make your own mind up as to if it’s for you and your business.


Price – Probability the most cited advantage of cloud computing is the cost, there are two main cost savings associated with cloud computing. They are, the capital expenditure, the amount of money needed to buy the IT equipment initially and the long term maintenance and support. While the cost saving of not having to buy the initial infrastructure may be obvious, there is also an ongoing saving associated with outsourcing your IT services, the economics of scale means that the price of maintenance and support can be brought down to slightly less than if you where hosting the data yourself, but still allowing your cloud suppler to make money.

Scalability – Image if you suddenly realized you needed to double the size of your network storage how easy would it be for you to do that? Normally you would have to find a suppler who supplied the same type of equipment as you currently use, ring them up, hope they have enough in stock then wait for them to be delivered and then hope you can get them all working together without too many all-nighters. With cloud computing it could be as simple as login into your control panel and selecting the new amount of storage you need.

The situation is even more extreme if you turn this on its head and consider what would happen if you suddenly needed half your network storage. Traditional you would be stuck with a load of equipment you don’t need that is slowly going out of date, with cloud computing if you no longer need it you no longer have to pay for it, you just login to your control panel and reduce the amount of storage you need.

The Environment – Because of the same economics of scale that make cloud computing cheap, cloud computing is also more environmentally friendly than traditional computing. When computers in the data centre are not processing your data, they will be processing someone else’s, why have two half full hard drives when a data centre can combine them an you will only need one disk.


Security – The main concern regarding cloud computing is that of the security of your data. While your twitter “tweets” may not be the most important chunk of data ever your financial records may well be. Sadly companies go out of business, sometimes very quickly and with little time for you to do anything about it.

Uptime – While a guaranteed uptime of 99.9% such as that provided by Amazon S3 accounts, sounds very impressive it’s worth thinking what this means in terms of downtime. 0.1% of a month, the amount of time Amazon can be down before they give you anything compensation is 43 minutes 50 seconds, which if it were to happen just as you or your boss needed that file for the big presentation then throes 40 minutes could feel like days.
Of course all computer services no matter if they are in-house or cloud based suffer downtime, but the problem is compounded within cloud based computing because you only become aware of it when your customers complain or you need the service, and there is nothing you can do directly to fix the problem.

Legal – One of the leased cited but possibly damaging aspects of cloud computing is the legal issues involved. For example, Companies based in the European Union can no “export” data that identifies to countries that don’t comply with the European Union’s data protection laws, this included countries such as the USA. This would mean that a company in the European Union could be breaking the law if they where to use a cloud computing service based in the United States to store their customer database.

While cloud computing has a number of advantages, it’s a cheap, it’s Scalable and it’s more environmentally sustainable than an in house solution, there are a number of other issues that need to be looked at before you move your business into the cloud. It is of course possible to mitigate some of the problems with cloud computing, while still reaping some of the benefits, by limiting the move to the less mission critical parts of your business.

Scott Herbert is a programmer with over 20 years experience writing both web and desktop based applications. He’s currently working on TwitterBrite A professional windows Twitter client

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Scott_Herbert

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7 Advantages of Cloud Computing

There’s been a lot of buzz recently about cloud computing and its amazing capabilities.  Before we get too carried away though, let’s talk about what its limitations are.  First, cloud computing can’t make your lunch or prepare your coffee- not yet at least, and after all, that’s what most of us really want… right?

In all seriousness cloud computing is really a concept and encompasses a lot of territory.  You’re most likely already using cloud computing on a daily basis although you may not realize it because no one made an announcement that you entered the world of cloud computing when you did.  I’m now envisioning one of those green “Welcome to the City of ______” Population: ______” signs.  That actually would be helpful to the cloud computing movement if we could see such a sign.  But guess what? If you’ve used Gmail, Facebook, or YouTube (just to name a few), you’ve already been there.

Now let’s get to some of the reasons why you may want to look into or consider cloud computing applications for your organization:

  1. One of the main drivers behind cloud computing is cost savings.   The idea is that with cloud computing you only pay for the computing power you use.  Typically, the capacity of servers is greatly underutilized; with cloud computing, however, a company can “rent” the needed space from a third-party.
  2. Cloud computing is “location-independent”.  In other words cloud computing is available from wherever one can access the internet.
  3. Cloud computing is known to be more agile.  Because an organization is not physically provisioning servers or other hardware, it can change more quickly as business needs arise.
  4. Cloud computing just sounds cool.  Say it with me: “cloud computing“.  Now… don’t you feel cool and on the cutting edge?  When in doubt of your own coolness, just repeat “cloud computing” as often as is necessary until the state of coolness returns.
  5. Security of data can potentially improve with cloud computing as providers may be able to focus more specifically on these issues.
  6. Maintenance in the cloud computing space does not require access to each employee’s computer.  Patches and updates can be deployed from a single location for all end users.
  7. Cloud computing allows an organization to focus on its mission.  For me it’s like the cafeteria at a company’s headquarters- the company itself doesn’t run it; they usually have hired another provider to do it for them.  After all, who do you want making your sandwiches? (See- it all comes back to sandwiches, doesn’t it? 😉 )

So, cloud computing is not for every organization or for every circumstance, but it’s certainly an option worth researching.  There are questions to be answered before you take the leap to the cloud for your company, but hopefully now you’re a little more knowledgeable on the topic… and perhaps feeling just a bit cooler in the process.  Say it with me: “cloud computing”.

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Welcome to the Halo Information Systems Tech Blog

Consider this the first issue of the Halo Information Systems Tech blog.  This blog is about technology.  Okay, okay, technology can be boring.  But it doesn’t have to be. This blog will bring tech to you in a very “that ain’t boring” way.  This blog will deliver relevant tech information to you on a variety of tech issues and it’ll actually be entertaining.  We’ll start out with things that are affecting or will affect how we do business, but we’ll also hit some of the more interesting and fun aspects of tech as well.  We’ll also find interesting guest blogs and repost them here.  Sometimes we’ll just make fun of people.  That’s what we do.

What do you do?  Well, this is very important.  Your role is to subscribe, read, provide feedback, and, well, tell everyone you know how awesome and informative and funny the Halo blog is.  Tell them to subscribe and read and provide feedback; then they need to tell everyone they know (minus you, of course) and so we get the word out.  See how that works? By my calculations we should have a readership of 1.7 million by July.  Now let’s get started…

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