Section 1.5. When Is It Time for IPv6?

1.5. When Is It Time for IPv6?

If the rest of the world moves to IPv6 while you insist on continuing to use IPv4, you will exclude yourself from global communication and reachability. This might not be a critical issue today, but times are changing fast these days. The risks if you wait too long include losing potential customers and access to new markets and the inability to use new IPv6-based business applications until you implement it.

There is a golden rule in IT: "Never touch a running system." As long as your IPv4 infrastructure runs well and fulfills your needs, there is no reason to change anything. But from now on, whenever you invest in your infrastructure, you should consider IPv6. An investment in the new technology gives it a much longer lifetime and keeps your network state-of-the-art.

These are the main indicators that it may be time for you to consider switching to or integrating IPv6:

  • You need to extend or fix your IPv4 network or NAT implementation.

  • You are running out of address space.

  • You want to prepare your network for applications that are based on advanced features of IPv6.

  • You need end-to-end security for a large number of users and you do not have the address space, or you struggle with a NAT implementation.

  • You need to replace your hardware or applications that are at the end of their lifecycles. Make sure you buy products that support IPv6, even if you don't enable it right away.

  • You want to introduce IPv6 while there is no time pressure.

The following provisions can be taken in order to prepare for IPv6 adequately:

  • Build internal knowledge, educate IT staff, and create a test network.

  • Include IPv6 in your IT strategy.

  • Create integration scenarios based on your network and requirements.

  • Put IPv6 support on all of your hardware and software shopping lists. Be specific about which features (RFCs) must be supported.

  • Compel your vendors to add IPv6 support to their products.

If you do this, you can determine the right moment for the introduction of IPv6 in your network. You can also assess whether a further investment in your IPv4 infrastructure makes sense or whether introducing IPv6 would be a better way to go.

There will be no "flag day" for IPv6 like there was for the 1983 move from NCP to IPv4. Probably there will be no killer application either, so don't wait for one. IPv6 will slowly and gradually grow into our networks and the Internet. Taking a step-by-step approach to IPv6 may be the most cost-efficient way to integrate it, depending on your requirements. This method does not put your current infrastructure at risk or force you to exchange hardware or software before you are ready, and it allows you to become familiar with the protocol, to experiment, to learn, and to integrate what you've learned into your strategy.

IPv6 Essentials
IPv6 Essentials
ISBN: 0596100582
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 156
Authors: Silvia Hagen

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