**Editor’s Note: Click here for a list of recent channel-program changes you should know.**
The Internet as we know it is nearing capacity. The IPv4 standard, developed in the early ‘80s, is running out of addresses, and, as a result, research firm Gartner expects 17 percent of global Internet users in 2015 will turn to IPv6, which is expected to support users and devices into relative infinity – or 340 trillion trillion trillion, if you require the numbers.
Much of the analyst discussion around IPv6 concerns network operators; to be sure, those entities must adapt their infrastructure and software to accommodate the next-gen standard. But they’re not the only ones impacted. Indeed, enterprises and SMBs face an inevitable adaptation to IPv6 as they connect more devices – think IP phones and M2M chips – to the Internet.
That’s why it’s imperative that IT-minded channel partners familiarize their customers with IPv6 and the pending transition. Over time, organizations will find that their Internet infrastructure, cloud or on-premises, and traffic will need to accommodate both IPv4 and IPv6, as the former does not work with or talk to the latter. And while IPv4 does not stand to ever disappear, industry observers agree that it will grow more expensive to maintain.
Such considerations have service and hardware providers thinking about how they will facilitate IPv6 understanding and adoption. Some, including Charter Communications and Cisco, have had IPv6 channel certification and sales programs in place for a while. Meanwhile, on Dec. 8, Hurricane Electric joined those ranks.
Hurricane Electric is a 20-year-old provider that operates an international IPv6 native Internet backbone and colocation facilities; its Silicon Valley data center measures 300,000 square feet. Services include IP transit, which delivers IPv6 and IPv4 traffic over the same connection at no extra cost, in 22 countries and within parts of the United States.
The Hurricane Electric name may not ring an immediate bell within the channel. That’s because the company so far has sold through direct teams. But that’s changing as Hurricane Electric expands.
“As we’ve added 17 new POPs in seven months, we’ve recognized that we need a larger, broader sales team working for us,” a spokesman told Channel Partners.
To that point, the Fremont, Calif.-based company has rolled out its first-ever channel program and signed its first master agent.
Indeed, Hurricane Electric has opened its portfolio to partners experienced in selling colocation and/or IP transit. In terms of benefits, partners receive instant lead registration, access to a sale portal, competitive commissions and other incentives, Hurricane Electric said. Open Spectrum Inc., headquartered in Scotts Valley, Calif., and led by Sean Patrick Tario, is the first master agency to sign with Hurricane Electric.
“For the last 20 years, Hurricane Electric has been at the forefront of next-generation Internet technology and was the first to bring attention to the importance of IPv6 adoption,” Tario said in a press release. “Hurricane Electric’s forward-thinking culture coupled with Open Spectrum’s penetration in the market will ensure continued growth for both companies.”
The Hurricane Electric channel program launch comes as Gartner further has projected that 28 percent of new Internet connections in 2015 will run on IPv6. And since 2015 is the year in which IPv6 usage is expected to start its ascent, look for more firms with expertise in different areas of IPv6 to seek knowledgeable, quality channel partners.