Migrating to an IPv6 network internally, on service provider networks and on the Internet is something that will take time. As we can’t turn off IPv4 on a Friday and restart the networks with IPv6 on the Monday, it has to be a long and smooth migration. During this period, we will run both protocols for some time, while parts of the network reach the goal and operates only on IPv6 and do not loose any functionality. The hard part is the dual stack period, where our applications will find out that it has two network paths to the same destination and have to come up with the proper set of sender and destination address labels for the session and not stumble on a broken network path or a misconfigured connection to the IPv4 or the IPv6 world. This week, the focus is on the IPv6 migration and a report made by a working group in the Slovenian government. Spend 30 minutes on learning more about IPv6 every Friday – start with this report today!
IPv6 migration strategies: A study
The ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology in the Republic of Slovenia has published a study on the transition to IPv6. It’s a massive document that is aimed to help the government and it’s agencies to plan and execute the IPv6 migration. The document is published under a Creative Commons Attributions-Share Alike License and translated into English. In the summary, they explain clearly why a transition has to happen:
“The IPv4 protocol has had a successor for ten years, namely the IPv6 protocol. The IPv6 protocol is more advanced in many aspects, but its greatest advantage is its enormous address space. IPv6 is a basic communications protocol that provides, at present and in the future, addressing of smart network devices and other objects of the future Internet. Without its deployment, development and economic growth will slow down and, in the worst-case scenario, come to a halt.”
The document goes on to discuss why transition doesn’t happen – everyone blames somebody else. But the main problem is lack of experience and training.
“The factors hindering the deployment of IPv6 are ignorance of the issue and of the consequences of IPv4 address space exhaustion, unfamiliarity with its operation, additional operational costs related to design, deployment and maintenance of IPv6 equipment and costs for educating staff.”
So what happens if we don’t migrate? The report has a clear answer:
“If IPv6 deployment is not significantly accelerated, there will be an extreme slow down in the growth of the internet, and the remains of IPv4 in networks will increase the costs of using the internet. The consequences of this delay in deployment shall be greater costs in all areas of internet services, we will be facing a slowdown of innovations in internet protocol based networks and economic growth will also become slower. These are the findings, among others, of the U.S Department of Commerce (2006), NTIA, NIST, OECD (2008), ITU (2008) and the Commission of the European Communities (2008).”
The content in short:
- 1. Description of the Most Important Issues and the Consequence if Slovenia does not Solve them appropriately
- 2. Comparision of National Strategies and Action Plans
- Analysis of the economic aspect for the public and the private sector
- Proposals for strenghtening Slovenia’s activities on the international scene
- The plan for educating own IT staff on all levels
- Attracting operators and access providers
- A sample model for including proper specifications on the requirements list for tenders
- Encouraging content providers to migrate to IPv6
- How to raise awareness
- What must the public administration do to adapt access and services for citizens to the IPv6 technology?
This document is a really good platform for internal training, planning and analysis both in the public and private sector, even if it’s written for a government of a country. It’s available for free and has a very open license. Use it as inspiration for your work!
Spend 30 minutes on reading the summary and browsing the document before you start your weekend IPv6 labs!