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DoD Prepares for ‘Internet Crunch’

With the growing use of computers, smartphones and other portable network devices, the Internet protocol version four is running out of space for IP addresses, leading to an impending phenomenon called “Internet crunch.” 

To delay effects of the possible crunch on the DoD and increase tactical communications capabilities, the Department of Defense is adopting a combination of existing IPv4 infrastructure and newer IPv6 equipment, Kris Strance, the DoD chief of IP policy, told Armed with Science.

According to Strance, DoD has nothing to worry about, at least internally. Thanks to the department’s early involvement in the creation of the Internet, it has more address space at its disposal than most other organizations worldwide.

“What we have to be concerned about it our outward-facing websites that connect with folks that might only have IPv6, so we’ll need to make sure those are both v6 and v4 compatible,” he said.

The best way to prepare for the shift is to pay attention to computer equipment’s IP capability when making purchases, Strance said. Generally, all new computer models are equipped for IPv6, but some hardware and network software is not compatible yet. By purchasing IPv6-capable materials, commanders can avoid extra expense for replacements.

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