Category Archives: Default

When should I start planning for an IPv6 deployment? – Article #2

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”

  1. How big is your enterprise will determine how long an implementation may take – you can work backwards from there…
  2. Where do you need v6 initially – the edge, the core? there are several common deployment models that depend on your specific needs?
  3. What IPv6 services do you see yourself offering to your clients, or your own business?
  4. Do you have the base requirements in place i.e. addressing plans, IPv6 prefixes, V6 policies and standards?
  5. 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;

  1. Apply for your v6 prefix from your RIR, and your BGP ASN if you will need one (hint, get one)
  2. Design your v6 IP schema and address plan – sounds simple? its not…
  3. 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.
  4. 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.)
  5. 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.

 

Will IPv6 actually ever take off? – Article #1

I am going to write a series of articles on IPv6 in the coming months. The first will be to look at the adoption rates for IPv6 and ask the question – “is IPv6 actually ever going to take off?”

Following on from this post I will post some articles on timing and triggers and then some practical advice on how you would go about actually deploying IPv6 in your environment.

So, – who has adopted IPv6?

Not many people according to google, well the % of people actually using IPv6 to transfer data across the internet right now is 2.75% of total traffic load. But usage is growing faster now than ever before. 2013 saw an increase 1.5 times of the previous 5 years.

Google V6 Usage Stats

 

 

 

 

 

It  also matters what country you live in as well. The USA has a healthy take up rate and is leading the way, also use in France and Germany is growing fast.

v6countries

 

 

 

 

 

Cisco has a different view – if you hop on their V6 stats site @ http://6lab.cisco.com/stats/ you will see much different numbers being shown for rather different views. One in particular that is quite interesting is IPv6 prefixes being advertised.

This shows a similar pattern to usage in that North America and North Europe are leading the way, but a much heavier increase in % of prefixes comparing V6 to V4 route tables.V6prefixes

 

 

 

 

 

This tells us that although we might not be using V6 for transport today, it’s there ready and waiting advertising V6 networks in readiness for when we decide to make the switch.

So, the ISPs, North American and European countries are starting to enable their enterprise edge and ISP transit networks – so what about the rest of us? For the most part larger enterprises are looking at the business case, and deciding to sit on it for now. If anything the predominant action seems to be to apply for an IPv6 prefix, and maybe run a small IPv6 POC or Pilot.

Of course this would all change in flash if next time you called your ISP to move your home DSL or relocate your data centre internet carriage your ISP turned around and dished out V6 addressing instead of IPv4 as their allocation had been depleted  – but we are still a long way from that scenario yet. There is no question that the IPv4 address space is running out or has run out in some regions, but the local registries in region are still happily dishing out IPv4 space.

We can see from the graphic below, the IPv4 depletion rates brakes came on hard in late 2011, but this hasn’t stopped the strong downward trend. My best guess would be that you won’t get more than 3-4 years before the scenario above becomes a reality in some if not all of the regions.

IPv4 Depletion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, to the original question “is IPv6 actually ever going to take off?” ….the answer is “yes, it will”. There are very few alternative high quality technology solutions that have as much existing investment & proven ability that can scale to address the explosion of internet enabled devices that will proliferate in the next decade.

However to reach critical mass to get a wholesale swing to an IPv6 first approach a much heavier v6 take up needs to occur globally and for that there needs to be a compelling reason or trigger event for businesses to consider a proactive investment in IPv6. I will discuss some of these in my next post.