In IPv6 Article 1 we explored the current rate of adoption globally for IPv6, and made the conclusion that yes, its real and will be mainstream within 4 years. This raises the obvious question of “when do I need to start planning?” & of course, the answer is “it depends”
- How big is your enterprise will determine how long an implementation may take – you can work backwards from there…
- Where do you need v6 initially – the edge, the core? there are several common deployment models that depend on your specific needs?
- What IPv6 services do you see yourself offering to your clients, or your own business?
- Do you have the base requirements in place i.e. addressing plans, IPv6 prefixes, V6 policies and standards?
- How complex is your environment – do you have dual ISP connectivity for example and will need a highly available provider independent address space to route?
The above are a few of the questions you will need to answer in the early stages of planning.
A good place to start is with point 4 – which is essentially proper planning. A lot of organisations sort of skip this step which of course will lead to a broken implementation and higher costs down the line. Some of the elements required here should be;
- Apply for your v6 prefix from your RIR, and your BGP ASN if you will need one (hint, get one)
- Design your v6 IP schema and address plan – sounds simple? its not…
- Update your IPV4 Security Policies to include this new Protocol. IPv6 schemas can be used to enforce policy on bit matching or this could be a good time to start considering your next-gen firewalling strategy, based on user authentication policy enforcement and move away from static and hard to scale / manage IP address based policies.
- Determine your v6 standards, and create a procurement checklist to ensure all new network devices can transport v6 as needed (think PIM-v6, OSPFv3 ,BGP address-families etc.)
- Plan for the network services that will need to be enabled as well, this will cover at least IPv6 DNS & DHCP services
If you cant tackle that yourself, as you probably wont have the skills yet – then go get yourself some consultancy to get you going – it will be worth the investment in the long run.
There’s a lot to cover to even go over the high level steps and considerations for your long term IPv6 deployment strategy – in the next article we will assume your planning is completed and take a look at how you can roll V6 out in a controlled manner.