Thursday, December 22, 2011

Was 2011 the year for IPAM?

On January 1st this year, I had predicted 2011 as the "year of IPAM." Driving this prediction were the imminent exhaustion of IPv4 address space, which occurred at the IANA level in early February, 2011, as well as DNSSEC and internationalized domain names (IDNs). While I believe awareness and interest in IPv6 as vastly increased during 2011, I think we're only just beginning. Certainly more organizations are interested in IPv6 and many are actively assessing and planning for deployment, but this process will take another year or two before IPv6 really gains critical mass on the Internet. Then perhaps we'll see a tipping point of widescale IPv6 deployment.

Interest in DNSSEC deployment continues to increase albeit slowly. Unfortunately, nothing short of another Kaminsky-style attack may trigger the DNSSEC deployment tipping point as organizations continue to evaluate and watch given the relative complexity of DNSSEC administration. Much of the trepidation around DNSSEC deployment relates to not only the initial key generation and zone signing process, but to the ongoing burden of rolling over keys and resigning zones. BIND automates this to some degree as of course does BT Diamond IP's Sapphire Sx20 fully automates this process.

For IDNs, 2012 will certainly be an interesting year with impacts on DNS administrators likely beginning in early 2013. ICANN's new gTLD program opens for new gTLD applications on January 12, 2012 and continues through April 12, 2012. The likely outcome of this process is the establishment of several new gTLDs, many of them in "native language" thanks to the IDNA (internationalized domain names for applications) protocol. Organizations seeking to market to global regions represented within IDN gTLDs may seek to register domain names with corresponding registrars. DNS administrators of course will then need to properly configure IDNs in DNS, which requires IDNA translation from native language unicode into ASCII.

So was 2011 the year of IPAM? It seems to me that 2011 was just the beginning of a multi-year period of awareness and planning for revolutionary Internet technologies, stimulating increasing recognition that IPAM solutions will be instrumental in simplifying their deployment and management.

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