[arin-ppml] The non-deployment of IPv6

michael.dillon at bt.com michael.dillon at bt.com
Fri Dec 11 14:29:09 EST 2009

> It's been a while since I looked at the Fortinet web site, 
> but last I looked, I couldn't find ANYTHING on the Fortinet 
> web site that said IPv6. And, the current version of FortiOS 
> is V4 or so. Does V4 have all of the features in the V3.0 
> that was certified? Probably, but how do I figure that out?

It's that kind of lazy attitude that has got us into the
mess that we are in today. Everybody is just waiting for
the other guy to act first instead of showing some 
leadership. I went to the Fortinet site and in only a
few seconds I found this URL: <http://www.fortinet.com/contact_us/>

There is a nice box there where you can type in your
question. In fact, let me make it easy for you and
give you some text to use.

   We are interested in Fortinet's firewall products but
   are disturbed by the fact that we can find no information
   on IPv6 support. Given that IPv6 traffic on the Internet
   already exceeds the total Internet traffic from 10 years
   ago, we can't consider buying any network software or
   equipment that does not support IPv6. In particular we
   have two questions that we would like answered:

   Do you have IPv6 support under development which we
   can use as a trial customer?

   What is your roadmap for IPv6 support in your products?

> That's my point (beef, soapbox, etc.). The vendors that 
> support IPv6 don't think IPv6 is important enough to mention 
> it in the spec sheets for each piece of equipment where it 
> would be easy to find. The information, if it is available, 
> is hidden off in some dusty corner.

That is because the product is not launched yet to the open
market but still undergoing trials and testing. Or maybe its
still in development. Vendors generally do not advertise 
stuff unless you can purchase it right now and they have
all their ducks in a row, documentation, telephone support
people trained, etc.

If customers will not talk to the vendors and let them know
that they need IPv6 support, then the vendors don't even
know that a market need exists.

> My real point is that from discussions on this list, I know 
> that one of my local vendors is working on IPv6 somewhere. 
> However, the local sales rep doesn't admit to knowing 
> anything about it.

Maybe that's because you haven't asked this sales rep a
point blank question.

-What kind of IPv6 service could your company offer me

-It seems that you don't know the answer. When can you get
back to me with more information currently available IPv6
service as well as your roadmap for IPv6?

-Can you put me in touch with your supervisor please?

-Hello, customer support? I was talking to one of your 
sales reps in Woebegone named Frank Lee Dumm, and he
refused to get me some information about your services.
I wonder if you can put me in touch with someone in 
sales who knows about your roadmap for IPv6 services,
that is spelled eye-pee-vee-six. Thank you.

The fact is that every vendor who currently supplies 
products connected to IPv4 networking is also currently
working on IPv6 products, with a few exceptions who will
shortly no longer be in business. Do you want to rely
on a vendor who will not be in business next year?
I thought not.

So, phone and write letters and emails and cajole people
and escalate it up through the vendor company looking for
someone who will explain their IPv6 roadmap. If you don't
get answers, then stop doing business with them, and 
consider dumping their stuff on Ebay and replacing it
with products from a RESPONSIVE vendor. The network business
is a tough one and it doesn't help you when your vendors 
won't work in partnership with you, so weed out the bad
ones and support the good ones.

In 2011 there will be a reckoning and a lot of companies
will go out of business or be acquired, which may amount
to much the same thing. Don't wait until the last moment
to find yourself a sheltered spot against the coming

--Michael Dillon

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