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The 411 on IPv6

Feb. 14, 2014 - 01:39PM   |  
By MARY DAVIE   |   Comments
Mary Davie is assistant commissioner for the Office of Integrated Technology Services in the General Services Administration's Federal Acquisition Service. Davie oversees the management of more than 7,000 contracts and is responsible for the largest fee-for-service IT procurement and services operation in the U.S. government.
Mary Davie is assistant commissioner for the Office of Integrated Technology Services in the General Services Administration's Federal Acquisition Service. Davie oversees the management of more than 7,000 contracts and is responsible for the largest fee-for-service IT procurement and services operation in the U.S. government. ()

Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) year-end FY14 deadlines are fast approaching for the federal government. If you haven’t started, now is a good time to consider how far we’ve come and what we have left to do to complete IPv6 transition.

The CIO Council’s IPv6 guidance tells us where we’ve been and defines the phased milestones we must meet. Have you completed the transition? If not, do you have a plan of action to meet the IPv6 FY14 year-end deadlines?

New Resources are Available

Whether you have a plan and just need a bit of additional help or you’re in the early stages and want a lot of assistance, GSA’s IPv6 SOW Template and Connections II IPv6 resources can help.

GSA’s IPv6 SOW Template, prepared with input from OMB’s IPv6 Working Group, will make the final journey to IPv6 easier to navigate. Our IPv6 SOW and related documents will help guide agencies through the acquisition process to obtain support to meet the full spectrum of IPv6 deadlines and requirements in a standard, achievable way.

The template covers everything you need for IPv6: planning, systems analysis, hardware, software, labor, test and integration support. Customize it to suit your needs for any contract, system or equipment. We also include sample inventory and pricing charts, and a potential work breakdown structure. Agency acquisition documents will need to include IPv6 specifications going forward.

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Besides providing the SOW Template, Connections II connects agencies to companies with expertise in IPv6 transition services and support. In addition, GSA’s:

■ IT Schedule 70 offers commercial IPv6-compliant IT products and services.

■ Networx allows federal agencies to build seamless, secure operating environments through customized telecommunications services, including IPv6 services.

■ Governmentwide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs) provide IPv6 transition services as part of a total IT solution.

IPv6 Enterprise-wide Benefits

Today, both IPv4 and IPv6 are in use. Agencies not only need to meet the deadlines to achieve business continuity across the Internet, but must leverage IPv6 protocol capabilities and ensure compatibility with new Internet services.

The CIO in its IPv6 Roadmap states: “There is more to the IPv6 transition than achieving the basic objective of providing additional addresses. As federal agencies integrate IPv6 within their current operations, they also have the opportunity to employ the new technology to optimize and enhance their business functions.”

“The technological advances provided by the new protocol,” the roadmap continues “will enable agencies to significantly enhance their mission capability by removing the limiting technology of the legacy protocol, IPv4, and adopting IPv6 as the new standard for supporting operational efficiency.” It can also reduce agency network administration and security support costs downstream.

Rundown of IPv6 Milestones

1990s – Due to economic demand of greater “information accessibility” across the Internet, the worldwide community deploys high-performance infrastructure and begins to develop IPv6

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2005 – OMB issues Memorandum M-05-22, “Transition Planning for Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6)”

2008 – Federal agencies must deploy IPv6 on federal government network backbones

2009 – Federal CIO Council issues best practices guidelines in “Planning Guide/Roadmap toward IPv6 Adoption within the U.S. Government” (the “Roadmap”), which has since been updated

2010 – OMB releases a subsequent memorandum titled “Transition to IPv6”

2011 – Remaining available IPv4 addresses are released regionally for consumption; Asia Pacific region exhausts its supply of IPv4 Internet addresses, and European and North American regions’ supplies being exhausted

2013 – GSA issues IPV6 SOW Templates and documents to assist agencies with looming deadlines for IPv6

FY 2012-2014 – Federal agencies must achieve phased objectives at end of FY12 and

FY14

I hope I’ve shared insights that will help your agency transition more easily to IPv6 by OMB’s FY 2014 year-end deadline. GSA’s website has more information on Connections II and other resources related to implementing IPv6.

Be sure to also check out the Planning Guide/Roadmap Toward IPv6 Adoption within the U.S. Government from CIO.gov. It gives guidance on IPv6, worldwide implications, regulations, and anticipated impact on government initiatives.

Find out how we can assist you through our new Need Help Page. And be sure to follow us and continue the conversation on Twitter @GSA_ITS.

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