One of the most common questions asked by my enterprise customers is “Who needs IPv6?” Since IPv6 does not add any significant new functionality (apart from larger address space), you can’t gain much by deploying it in an enterprise network … unless you’re huge enough that the private IPv4 address space (RFC 1918) becomes too confining for you. A good case study is Halliburton; you’ll find the details in Global IPv6 Strategies: From Business Analysis to Operational Planning book (my review).
Apart from huge corporations using IPv6 internally, there are three groups pushing the public IPv6 deployment:
- Service providers that are running out of IPv4 address space (which is limiting their growth opportunities);
- Developers of new peer-to-peer applications that would like to get rid of NAT;
- Consumer applications (like smart house) that would like to use globally-valid addresses. For example, Arch Rock is one of the companies making IPv6-based wireless sensor networks (a Google search for “IPv6 sensors” will also give you numerous sources).
For everyone else, IPv6 is something that you don’t want to be involved in (apart from the new toys perspective), but you’ll be forced to deploy it sooner or later.