Zero Hour Approaches for IPv6: IPv6 and the Mainframe Community

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The current Internet addressing scheme is expected to become obsolete in 2012. In the third and final post of his 3-part series for SHARE President's Corner, veteran tech writer Carl Weinschenk explores how IPv6 will influence mainframe computing.

The extent to which IPv6 directly impacts mainframe computing depends on the way in which the device - whether real or virtual - is configured, according to experts. But all configurations still put the mainframe at the heart of the matter. They will use the new addressing scheme internally to move ever greater amounts of data between elements. Mainframes will communicate with network elements on the Internet either directly via IPv6 or through intermediate devices.

John Curran, the CEO of the American Registry of Internet Names (ARIN), says that people in the mainframe community must be aware of the transition and that some may even have to take steps to keep their data flowing smoothly. The key is unfettered access. "The important thing to realize is the Internet change we are experiencing right now going from IPv4 to IPv6 will affect people from the mainframe community because at some point they will want to access the apps on those machines."

In some cases - especially in networks with older topologies - the mainframe is directly linked to the Internet. "If they talk directly, that mainframe needs to talk IPv6," Curran said. "There is no guarantee that that is going to be an easy thing to do."

To what extent will IPv6 impact mainframe computing? Read the full article on President's Corner to find out.