Window on WANs

Dec 10 2010   3:46PM GMT

Are there any hidden service provider costs for an IPv6 migration?

Jessica Scarpati Jessica Scarpati Profile: Jessica Scarpati

News stories are often a moving target. We sometimes start out with one angle, hit a dead end and swerve in another direction entirely.

Today’s story on SearchEnterpriseWAN explores some of the IPv6-specific consulting services that are emerging from telcos and colocation providers’ professional services divisions. These services aim to help enterprises with all or part of their IPv6 migration strategies when they can’t do it with in-house resources alone.

Obviously, pro services are an optional expense. In fact, the CEO of the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN), John Curran, says in today’s story that the “average organization today doesn’t need to hire consultants” for the IPv6 migration.

But what about any unavoidable charges or hidden fees from service providers for running IPv6 transition technologies, such as dual-stack? That was actually the first angle I explored after I ran across one IT pro’s answer to that question on our ITKE forums.

Denny Cherry, known everywhere in SQL circles simply as “Mr. Denny” (including his blog here at TechTarget), responded that two colocation providers had said they would charge “a setup fee to cover allocating the block to you and [for] the router configuration changes.”

After I reached out to Denny, he declined to publicly share the names of the two colocation providers,  but he said they quoted him one-time fees of less than $1,000.

This was pretty surprising to me since I haven’t heard of any service provider charging anything to transport or support IPv6 unless someone wanted to setup a new IPv6-only circuit (in which case they’ve said it wouldn’t cost any more than an IPv4 circuit — and rightly so, as IPv6 traffic isn’t “premium” by any means).

I asked around with some of the WAN and colocation providers — did they have any one-time or recurring charges for supporting IPv6 or its transition technologies? Any so-called “setup” or router configuration fees?

The official word out of Verizon Business, Global Crossing, Qwest Communications, Hurricane Electric, Cogent Communications, Telx, Savvis Inc — absolutely no fees. Networking and IPv6 guru Ivan Pepelnjak told me he had never heard of those charges, and another IT pro I contacted who colocates with AT&T in New York City had heard nothing of the sort either.

So, how can we explain Mr. Denny’s experience? Did he have the misfortune of dealing with some overly eager sales reps trying to ensure they got their bonuses that month? Are IT pros being told by their account managers something completely different from what we hear from official mouthpieces? Is this an isolated incident?  I can’t even begin to guess.

For us, it was an idea that fizzled. But obviously for WAN pros, no news is good news in this case. And if your sales reps try to tell you it’s going to cost extra to support IPv6, send them the link to this blog.

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