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IPv6 transitions begin with these best practices

The fourth in our series of conversations with IPv6 Forum president Latif Ladid looks at what’s different about moving to the next-generation addressing system, and what isn’t

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This is the fourth post of a five part series based on an interview with Latif Ladid president of the IPv6 Forum, discussing the enterprise challenges and issues relating to enterprise deployment including: pain points, security, best practices and future predictions.

So it’s distinctly understood that making a network transition IPv6 sooner than later is a sound enterprise policy. So what are the best practices? And are they clearly defined?

The good news, notes Ladid, is that ensuring an effective IPv6 isn’t about reinventing the wheel. Best practices around IPv6, he notes, involve a well-trained IT team, an inventory of the current network infrastructure and deploying an address plan. It’s also about taking an incremental IT approach; Latif recommends reviewing the U.S government’s IPv6 roadmap, which offers clear guidelines of the appropriate IT steps to take. “It’s a well documented roadmap for (organizations) to follow and deploy, he adds.

Industry expert Yanick Pouffary agrees with Latid. Pouffary, IPv6 Forum fellow and chair notes that the IT department/IPv6 transition team should adopt a holistic approach when making any IPv6 transition plan, particularly when considering that IPv6 touches every device on the network.

“Understanding the enterprise application landscape is also important since enabling IPv6 on a network does not necessarily enable applications to use IPv6,” says Pouffary. “A phased approach is key to a successful IPv6 adoption and the IPv6 deployment must be aligned to company business strategy.It is important to develop a design that enables IPv6 to be introduced without disrupting the existing IPv4 network.”

Additional best practices as cited by Pouffary include: creating an internal ‘certification’ based on the IPv6 Forum IPv6 Ready Logo program to ensure the current product set and future purchases will allow a more seamless infrastructure transition to IPv6; and adopting a dual stack approach/deployment strategy where bridge gap solutions (such as tunnelling or translation) can also be used to quickly enable “islands” of IPv6.

“It’s about weighing the costs of doing now or doing it,” Latif says of developing any IPv6 best practice. “As you can imagine, the costs of not doing it now will be higher. The later you come onboard, the bigger the hurdle will be.”

Learn more by downloading our free white paper, ‘Planning the Transition to IPv6,’ today.




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