Do something about IPv6, at last

At this moment I am working for one of our customers, and was asked to kick-start discussions about IPv6. I sent around the message with the following content:

Why is business so slow in adopting IPv6?

IPv6 it is neither the new service nor the new feature. It does not improve performance or security, and no user will notice the difference between IPv4 and IPv6. In the traditional way of thinking, it usually results in “no budget for it” kind of answer from the business.

So why to invest in it?

Switching from IPv4 to IPv6 is like changing trains at the station: the more you wait, the bigger is the chance of running after departing train. IPv4 is being replaced by IPv6 at this very moment, slowly but surely. It has to be done, because the fact is: IPv4 is dying. The current shortage of IPv4 addresses means that every new or expanding business – our potential customer or partner – will be pushed to run on IPv6. Customers visiting our websites will tend to prefer doing it over IPv6. Soon new cool features will first be developed for IPv6. Above all, internal investigations may show that company IT and Application landscape needs a lot of money and the whole year(s) to be enabled with IPv6. Changes of this scale must be prepared well in advance.

Investigations and piloting must start as soon as possible. They don’t cost a lot of money and will answer important questions:

  • What will it cost to enable IPv6 within company IT infrastructure? Can existing equipment and tools support it?
  • How much time will it take to build IPv6 knowledge?
  • What impact will it have on services and users?
  • Can all applications be “enabled” with IPv6, or some of them require adjustments to the programming code itself? What time and money will it cost?

Quick facts

  • Asia has already run out of IPv4 addresses in 2011.
  • RIPE has distributed the following note: “On Friday 14 September, 2012, the RIPE NCC, the Regional Internet Registry (RIR) for Europe, the Middle East and parts of Central Asia, distributed the last blocks of IPv4 address space from the available pool. This means that we are now distributing IPv4 address space to Local Internet Registries (LIRs) from the last /8 block… No new IPv4 Provider Independent (PI) space will be assigned. It is now imperative that all stakeholders deploy IPv6 on their networks to ensure the continuity of their online operations and the future growth of the Internet”.

What next?

My suggestions are:

  1. Formally launch IPv6 Pilot project.
  2. Every team that is involved in IPv6 introduction – such as DB, Apps, Security, Networking,- must have the focal point for IPv6 topic. This person will drive IPv6 investigations and development within his team.
  3. Within short time the project should deliver the preliminary results describing estimated efforts and costs of introducing IPv6 into the company infrastructure, as well as high level estimated timeline.

 


Alex Mavrin, CCIE #7846

Visit http://www.apteriks.com and use FREE ONLINE tools for network professionals.

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4 comments

  1. remco donker · · Reply

    Have a look at http://www.ipv4depletion.com/?page_id=326 for your regional status wrt IPv4 depletion date.

  2. Thanks, Remco. The most important message that I take from that – “don’t wait for the last moment. Doing things in a hurry always costs money, and is prone to mistakes.”

  3. There are issue which network engineer has to face on daily basis for IPv6. WAN implementation makes more scene for now. LAN/DC has a lot of challenges.

    IPv6 SLAAC and DCHP; Right now in many company SLAAC is been Adopted, Just to make sure that Ipv6 is been running in the infra, DHCP there are few issues depending on the vendors end user.
    Ipv6 Management: One of the issues not only for managing the block but also if above is done then every time the Mac changes the ip changes. VMware. I have not seems any IPAM tool right now for IPv6

    On Network end the implementation is fine and can be done fast the problem is on the end user where either they done thave any idea of ipv6 or the vendor has bugs with ipv6. Few of the vendors does support SLAAC. I wont not name them :).

    http://www.ipv6now.com.au/RFC.php

    1. Thanks, Pravin, good to hear from you 🙂
      There surely are challenges, but if we don’t start planning and piloting we will never address them. I noticed however that most bigger companies tend to consider stateful DHCP for IPv6, so SLAAC will be disabled for them.

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