Deploying IPv6 is like managing any other IT project. This simple checklist should help to get you started:
To keep your business connected, you need to ensure that the technologies you use are compatible with the next generation of IP addresses, IPv6. Basic steps include:
Regardless of the economic climate and shrinking IT budgets, planning for IPv6 deployment needs to start now. Businesses need to invest in IPv6 to save in the long-term and protect return on technology investments that depend on the Internet.
The longer a business waits to adopt IPv6, the more expensive it will be. Last minute deployment makes it less likely that equipment upgrades can be integrated into your existing upgrade cycles, and will require more intensive training of staff. Both of these factors can serve to increase costs dramatically.
Businesses need to develop a comprehensive deployment plan now to ensure they stay connected in 2011 and beyond.
Most businesses rely on an Internet Service Provider (ISP) for their connection to the Internet. Your own network's IPv6 requirements and deployment schedule will be contingent upon your upstream provider's IPv6 deployment, so it is important that you understand what your ISP can provide and when.
Some questions that you might ask your service provider:
An essential part of making your business IPv6 ready is to ensure that your equipment is compatible with the next generation of IP addressing. The first step is to carry out an IT audit to identify which pieces of equipment (routers, servers and other hardware) need upgrading or even replacing.
Your hardware vendor(s) should be able to help you with this process, and advise you on how to make the necessary changes. It may require a significant amount of time and effort to convert all elements of your IT infrastructure, so you may want to consider a staged deployment.
Below is a list of information provided by a sample of hardware vendors to get you started.
In order for your entire network to be IPv6 ready you need to ensure that all hardware and software is dual stacked (running IPv4 and IPv6). If you have purchased software from a third party you'll need to get in touch with the provider to check if the product is already IPv6 compatible or if there's an upgrade available. A great deal of software already on the market (including many computer operating systems, though not Windows XP) is IPv6-ready by default.
If no IPv6 upgrade is available, you'll need to look for an alternative software source. Any software that you have developed in house may have to be rewritten.
There are many IPv6 training course options available, from online education to face-to-face training.
If your organisation is a member of the RIPE NCC, your staff can attend the RIPE NCC's Basic IPv6 Training Course or Advanced IPv6 Training Course free of charge. These courses provide information on how to obtain IPv6 addresses and how to prepare your deployment plan.
At the more technical end of the scale, there are several RFC documents maintained by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) that include guidelines and case studies for IPv6 deployment under various business models: