Like any major change, adding IPv6 capabilities to an environment requires planning. The amount of planning required depends on many factors, including:

  1. BulletSize and complexity of the environment

  2. BulletNumber of users affected

  3. BulletProduction Impact(s)

  4. BulletCustomer impact(s)

  5. BulletExtent of changes needed

  6. BulletIn house software

  7. BulletSystems

  8. BulletHardware

  9. BulletVendor Software upgrades

  10. BulletSoftware Vendors that are not yet IPv6 ready

  11. BulletChange Management Procedures

  12. BulletStaff Training Requirements

  13. BulletTesting

  14. BulletResources to build development and test lab(s)

  15. BulletTest Plans and methodology

  16. BulletSuccessful Test Exit criteria

What if everything isn’t ready?

Some things may be show-stoppers.  Other things may be able to continue on for quite some time without requiring IPv6 support.

Things you want IPv6 ready before customers/users depend on IPv6 in your environment:

  1. BulletMonitoring Systems

  2. BulletLogging and Billing Systems

  3. BulletFirewall/Intrusion Detection/Other Security Systems

  4. BulletMost, if not all routers and other network infrastructure

  5. BulletSupport Department systems

  6. BulletNot necessarily everyone’s desktop, but, at least enough to be able to do IPv6 support.

Things that can wait:

  1. BulletThird party applications (in most cases)

  2. BulletPrinters and other peripherals

  3. BulletDesktop Systems

  4. BulletLaptops

  5. BulletVPNs (usually)

  6. Bulletetc.


Since this site is about building a business case and not a network, you can find sites with more technical details on our resources page.

The general process for change will depend a great deal on the specific needs and planning based on the priorities and requirements of the environment, availability of resources, and timing of maintenance opportunities.

Generally, the order will look something like this:

  1. 1.Initial deployment/support staff training

  2. 2.Development work/lab

  3. 3.Test lab

  4. 4.External Connectivity

  5. 5.Network Infrastructure, Firewalls, Intrusion Detection Systems, and other Security devices

  6. 6.Domain Name Servers and Resolvers

  7. 7.Support Department(s)

  8. 8.Additional Support Staff training

  9. 9.Servers and/or Desktops (in stages, order dictated by local concerns)

  10. 10.User training (if applicable to your environment)

  11. 11.VPNs

  12. 12.Others

Ways to Connect

There’s no single correct solution here. Generally, the best choice is to get IPv6 connectivity (and addresses) from the same source(s) as IPv4 connectivity. However, not all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are ready to provide IPv6 services to their customers.

In cases where switching to or adding an IPv6-ready ISP is not a viable option, the use of tunnels can provide at least a temporary solution. IPv6 tunnels offer a solution where IPv6 packets are wrapped up in an IPv4 envelope and sent from one IPv6 island to another using existing IPv4 internet connectivity. This operates much like a mail forwarding service, except that once configured, the process is fully automated and occurs at nearly the same speed as direct connectivity in most cases. One of the most important performance impacts here is to choose a tunnel server that is close by (in terms of network topology).

There are also single-host semi-automatic solutions available such as 6to4 and Teredo. These solutions only provide connectivity to a single host at a time in most cases, so, they are not discussed in detail on this site.

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