Dan GriffinWelcome to the eighth edition of the JW Secure Informer, our bi-monthly newsletter. This is an opportunity to share what’s on our radar, specifically with respect to enterprise network security, but also regarding IT and business more generally.

The Informer is intended to be useful content and good for a quick read. So if it’s just clutter in your inbox, we’ve failed, and I hope you’ll let us know.

IPv4 Address Exhaustion

To paraphrase Bono, there’s been a lot of talk about IPv4 address exhaustion lately. Mainly, many too much talk. Yes, the last major blocks of IPv4 addresses are being allocated this year. And yes, in the regions of high demand – Asia, Europe, North America – that’s going to be a problem sooner rather than later. But proponents of IPv6 have been warning us about this for nearly 20 years. Two questions persist: whose problem is this, really, and when is “soon”? (Or to quote Morrissey, how soon is now?)

The current argument for IPv6 reminds me of the old argument for investing your money in land: they aren’t making any more of it [land/IPv4 addresses], so scarcity is inevitable. But as the recent economic collapse reminds us, just because something seems like a good investment in the long run, doesn’t mean it’s a good one in the short term. Should the average company be investing time and money in IPv6 in the short term?

That brings us back to the question about whose problem this is. First, rest assured that the internet service providers – cable and phone companies – are going to continue to provide internet connectivity to their users. To the vast majority of the population, nobody cares how they do it. But those companies represent one group that needs to care.

Second, in the technology world, compelling scenarios are starting to emerge for IPv6 use in the large enterprise. Thus, there is a competitive motivation for software and hardware vendors who sell in that space to ensure that their offerings are at least compatible with IPv6. Mainstream network protocol stacks make that easy to do, although it’s still possible to screw it up at the application layer.

Thus, continuing the real estate investment analogy, buy property if you need a place to live. Otherwise, put your extra time and money somewhere else.

Recent blog posts on IPv6:


Seattle Entrepreneur Community: Broke or Evergreen?

I’m leaning toward evergreen. For the past several years I’ve had the opportunity to serve as a judge during the University of Washington’s Business Plan Competition investment round. The breadth and quality of business opportunities is consistently impressive, and this year was no exception. Looking at the Sweet 16 Teams for 2011, the medical device space is well-represented, as are green-tech and mobile.

Seattle has a scrappy entrepreneur community. But, as I discussed in a recent blog post entitled Seattle entrepreneurs – connecting the neurons (based on a post by Mark Suster in TechCrunch), it could be better. The bottom line is that the same opportunities for strengthening the local business community exist just about everywhere, and it’s all about connecting: big companies with small ones, entrepreneurs with investors, talent with opportunity. So stay active, and network, network, network!