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How to Transition From IPv4 to IPv6

By: Blair Felter on June 2, 2016

The supply of IPv4 Internet addresses is dwindling. Internet Number Registries assigned the last unallocated IPv4 addresses in 2015. It is no longer a question of if your company will need IPv6, but when. That does not mean that you have to convert to IPv6 today. However, it does mean that you should have a plan for your business.

According to Cisco’s IPv6 for the Enterprise for 2015, “Over 83 percent of the world’s population no longer has access to the legacy variant of the commodity we have become familiar with as a “public Internet address.” Put another way, in North America, Latin America, Asia, and Europe, the IPv4 address pool is already entirely depleted.”

It is time for companies to develop a strategy for their IPv6 conversion. Here is a collection of articles designed to help you find the information you need on how to make the transition to IPv6 from IPv4.

Industry Trends

Google: IPv6 Adoption Trends
How many people are actually moving to IPv6?
This page answers that question using an interactive graph that shows how many people access Google over IPv6.

vXchnge: Why the Internet of Things (IoT) Needs IPv6
This blog post from vXchnge highlights how critical IPv6 is to the rapidly growing Internet of Things (IoT) industry in terms of its scalability, connectivity, and security.

Intro to IPv6

ARIN: IPv6 Info Center
This IPv6 information center from the American Registry for Internet Numbers is a thorough resource for all things IPv6 and what it means to you.

ARIN: IPv4 and IPv6
This short white paper by the American Registry for Internet Numbers provides a great introduction to IPv4 and IPv6. This is a great place to start if you are seeking more information about the difference between the two and why you should take action.

Verizon: Realize Your Business Potential with IPV6
What will it take to convert to IPv6?
This white paper from Verizon discusses the benefits of IPv6 along with potential implementation issues and challenges that companies may come across. A benefit and drawback comparison table can be found in this white paper.

Cisco: Enterprise IPv6 for the Enterprise
This Cisco article covers the reality that many countries have already depleted their IPv4 addresses. They also discuss the primary technology considerations when moving the enterprise to IPv6.

Cisco: Getting Started with IPv6
This is an introduction to how Cisco's Global Government Solutions Group (GGSG) is migrating to IPv6 and how they can help minimize the impact for the global Cisco community. It will also cover the best practices for moving from IPv4 to IPv6.

IPv4 vs. IPv6

vXchnge: IPv4 Versus IPv6: What It Means To You
This article from vXchnge contains a comparison of IPv4 and IPv6. It also covers several facets of IPv6 and why you need to make the leap.

Digi: A Primer on IPv6
While many of these resources contain a high-level overview, this white paper goes into more detail about limitations of IPv4, features of IPv6, as well as how to make the transition.

Juniper: Differences in Addressing Between IPv4 and IPv6
This advanced technical white paper from Juniper discusses not only the differences between IPv4 and IPv6, it goes into more detail on address notation. It also discusses the address allocation and types along with router addressing and the IPv6 protocol itself.

Akamai: IPv6 Transition
This white paper on Akamai's “V6 Rollout Plan and Experience from a CDN Point of View” talks about the transition of technologies, challenges of reaching IPv6 users, and experiences that occurred while making the transition.

Cisco: Throughput and Latency Test
Cisco created a white paper comparing performance testing of IPv4 versus IPv6 throughput and latency on different Cisco router platforms. If you need performance statistics on how IPv6 performs across Cisco equipment, this is a great place to start.

AFCEA: Security Risk of not migrating to IPv6
This white paper discusses the security risk of not migrating to IPv6 along with why the transition is desperately needed.

IPv6 Conversion Plan Checklist

This simple checklist is designed to help provide a few ideas for your own IPv6 conversion plan. If you need additional assistance, please contact us today.

  • Evaluate hardware to ensure IPv6 capabilities
  • Understand the dual-stack option
  • DNS & DHCP Migration process
  • Train network technical staff on IPv6
  • Audit your application and OS portfolio for IPv6 compatibility
  • Determine impact to customers
  • Establish a realistic timeline for the hardware and software transition

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