Due to the amount of IPv6 address space the RIPE NCC allocates to its members, it is important that RIPE NCC members develop a plan for how they are going to distribute IPv6 in their network and how they delegate IPv6 address space to their End Users.
Because address space management is the responsibility of RIPE NCC members, we have collected some general information and best common practices on this subject.
We recommend breaking up an IPv6 allocation and separating it into different blocks that will be used for your own network infrastructure and for your End Users.
RIPE NCC members can set aside and separate several blocks for services to End Users if they offer different types of End User services.
Common practice is to use the first prefixes from an IPv6 allocation for your own network's infrastructure and configure the services for End Users using prefixes from another part of the allocation.
Considering the amount of IPv6 address space in an IPv6 allocation, we recommend making assignments on 4-bit boundaries.
The policies of the RIPE community define a minimum assignment size of a /64. The number of hosts in a /64 is not relevant, because a /64 contains enough space to address a huge number (264) of hosts.
Common practice is to make assignments only on 4-bit boundaries, thereby assigning /64, /60, /56, /52 or /48 prefixes. The advantage is that users will not have to work with long IPv6 addresses that are hard to remember.
For example, if a network has two subnets and requires more than a /64 (one subnet), you should assign a /60 (16 subnets) instead of a /63 (2 subnets). Assigning a larger prefix to this network also allows you to add more subnets from the /60 to the network if necessary.
It is possible to make assignments that are not on 4-bit boundaries (for example, a /63, /62, /61 and so on), but please think carefully about this.
IPv6 offers a feature called Stateless Address Autoconfiguration (SLAAC) that can be useful when deploying and distributing IPv6 address space in a network. Stateless Address Autoconfiguration (SLAAC) will automatically configure IPv6 on a host after the host receives certain information from a router nearby; users have no influence on the IPv6 address the router will assign to connect the host.
We recommend turning off this feature when deploying IPv6 in a server or backbone network and configuring IPv6 manually. This way, users can select and remember the IPv6 address that is assigned to a host instead of assigning a random address using Stateless Address Autoconfiguration.
It's also helpful to use certain server port numbers in an IPv6 address. For example, users can assign an IPv6 address ending with ::110 to their POP server or an IPv6 address ending with ::53 for their DNS server.
In order to support our members with their IPv6 address distribution and RIPE Database registrations, we've developed the IPv6 Analyser.
The IPv6 Analyser is a tool that offers RIPE NCC members a visual insight into the allocations, assignments and aggregations they have registered in the RIPE Database.
The IPv6 Analyser is also integrated with the RIPE Database and one of its main features is allowing users to create and delete objects in the RIPE Database directly. An easy-to-use wizard guides users through the process of registering a new assignment, aggregation or a sub-allocation in the RIPE Database, helps them find available space of the required size, and pre-fills the database templates with information that is already known. The authentication for the wizard is done via the user's RIPE NCC Access account, and it can help connect the member's RIPE NCC Access account with a maintainer object in the RIPE Database.