PREPARING FOR THE TRANSITION TO IPv6
Ready or not the transition to IPv6*, the next version of the Internet, has begun. More than just a bigger number, IPv6 is an entirely new internetworking framework that introduces new opportunities and new concerns. These opportunities and concerns will require network administrators to learn non-trivial new concepts and to apply those concepts to routers, firewalls, intrusion detection/protection devices, DHCP servers and all other IPv6 enabled devices on the network. OnRamp’s Full7Layer Support includes IPv6 administration up to and including the application layer.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TO MAKE THE IPv6 TRANSITION
- Document your network topology. For an initial period, most networks will have to run in “dual stack” mode, which means they will run IPv4 and IPv6 simultaneously. Good network documentation will be required to carefully plan the transition to dual stack mode and the subsequent interaction of these two protocols. Having a good record and understanding of what you are already doing in IPv4 is essential for deployment.
- Assess all the devices in your infrastructure for IPv6 compatibility. Firewalls, routers, content switches, switches and any other devices that are involved with manipulating streams of data at Layers 2-4 are targets for the greatest concern. IPv6’s larger addresses can increase the load on these devices when compared to the same traffic under IPv4.
- Ensure that all new devices, operating systems and applications that you are planning to deploy are IPv6 compatible.
- Become acquainted with IPv6. The American Registry of Internet Numbers maintains a website at http://www.getipv6.info/ that has become a central “Wiki” for linking to IPv6 information of all types.
- Download OnRamp’s IPv6Guide(pdf).
- Contact OnRamp’s Full7Layer Support team to receive your IPv6 allocation from us and to coordinate the establishment of IPv6 routing and appropriate security for your network.
As an OnRamp customer, you can take advantage of customer support that far exceeds the levels of a typical Data Center partner. OnRamp offers support throughout the network and server infrastructure up to the application level. So, instead of merely handing you new IPv6 numbers and sending you on your way, OnRamp stands ready to assist in this transition and, if necessary, can design and implement the deployment of IPv6 to your devices and infrastructure for you.
USEFUL CONTEXT ABOUT IPv6
* Since its inception, the Internet has operated using a set of standards called Internet Protocol version 4, or IPv4. For well over a decade, plans have existed to transition the Internet from IPv4 to a new version of standards, called Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6). However, without a pressing need to upgrade, and because of the enormity of coordinating this transition, IPv6 has yet to be adopted by the Internet at large.
So, what happened to IPv1, IPv2, Ipv3 and IPv5? They never existed. The functions now contained in Internet Protocol where previously conducted by TCP in versions 1, 2 and 3. To avoid confusion, when the Internet Protocol was separated out, they named it IPv4. In the early 80’s, Internet Stream Protocol, which was to ride on top of and enhance IPv4, was briefly popular and some vendors began to refer to it unofficially as “version 5″ anticipating that it would be incorporated into the basic structure of IP when the next version was adopted. Stream protocol died, and, thus, we now call the second widely implemented version of Internet Protocol “IPv6″ to avoid confusion.