Twenty-five years ago -- when Network World was born -- the Internet was only 3 years old itself. At that time, less than 2,500 hosts were connected to the Internet and maybe 10,000 people used it regularly. Now there are more than 800 million hosts and 1.8 billion regular users.
There's maybe never been a better time to be a network engineer--that is, provided you have IPv6 experience. Businesses are crying out for individuals to help create next-generation networking circuits, and the heat has been turned up as World IPv6 Day approaches in June, during which many of the Internet's most popular properties will open IPv6 entrances to give the technology the biggest test it's ever had.
When it comes to IPv6 support, consumer home networking gear lags far behind other devices, like enterprise equipment and PC operating systems. Most devices certified as IPv6-compliant by the IPv6 Forum are full of implementation bugs, experts say.
Vint Cerf takes his title of Chief Internet Evangelist for Google seriously, and is knee-deep in several projects to bring the next versions of the Internet into being. These projects include pushing for worldwide IPv6 adoption, but they don't include plans for an IPv7.