The Spiceworks Review: Getting real with IPv6

Our monthly roundup of the best discussions on the online community, from the pros and cons of moving to the latest version of the Internet Protocol to the risks and rewards of virtualizing your environment … and a little uptime funk.

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From IPv6 to VDI, Spiceheads have been debating the move toward newer protocols and technologies. But it’s not always a straightforward decision, as many have discovered.

Spicehead Antonio Salieri asked the community for input on real-world experiences with IPv6. Salieri, who works in a mid-sized environment with 300 PCs and 12 servers, doesn’t see the need to rush into it.

While there are benefits, there are also risks, says Matthew5502. “First, with little to no understanding of IPv6 and IPv6 routing, it becomes a huge risk. Secondly, if you haven’t set up a test environment, and spun up applications that you use to test their compatibility with IPv6, even bigger risk.” He recommends doing a full risk/benefit analysis for your specific use cases before making that determination.

Group admin Brandon Bigford says he deals with IPv6 because it was put in before he got there. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be using it. “We simply don’t have the need for it. We have 120 users, something like 50 servers, and about 100-150 workstations on the network. … If we REALLY needed more IPs, we could just switch to a different class.” What he likes about IPv6, though, is improved security and a flatter network, though that also comes with higher complexity.

But NetTechMike doesn’t understand why people are complaining about complexity. “It is no more complex than IPv4. The numbers are just hex and there are more of them. All the rules about managing it stay the same. I would actually argue that it is easier to manage since it can function without the need for a DHCP server.”

Perhaps the most compelling reason to consider IPv6, though, is simply to get out in front of it. “IPv6 is coming, like it or not. The more familiar you can become with it, the better,” says Spicehead Carl Holzhauer.

Another Spicehead was looking for real-world examples of VDI. Troy Le Clair, aka DroneGuy, says his business is considering a virtualized desktop infrastructure and wants to know about VDI pros and cons.

VDI isn’t for everyone, says Nash Brydges with JPSL Consulting. And if the impetus is cost savings, that may not be the right motivation to head down this road. “The biggest source of frustration that I hear about with VDI is getting the use-case right (do you really need/want VDI) and the licensing,” he says. “That said, managing a VDI set of users is significantly simpler without having to go to individual users’ desktops for support on the hardware.”

Spicehead jonahzona says he had a great experience with VDI in his last job, in part because of the partners they chose. “No more VPN! Wonderful!” he says. Other benefits: two-factor authentication was a breeze, 10GB connections between VDI and SQL servers helped out enterprise apps and user acceptance was 99 per cent.

But there were pain points. Troubleshooting became a whole new beast, he says. “We spent days trying to find the ‘cipher error’ we were getting. Turned out the system dedicated drive was too small, but no one could tell us. Had to figure it out on my own.” And app licensing can be a pain for singly licensed apps, he adds.

“VDI done wrong is a disaster! VDI done right is sooooo sweet,” says Spicehead Nick Casagrande. “The only physical PCs we have anymore are exec laptops. … It’s amazing how much information has left my brain in the past decade since virtualization won me over.”

While network pros were pondering the future of their networks, they still found time for a laugh. Check out this parody of Uptown Funk:

The takeaway? If you’ve gotta fix the server in a jiffy, don’t reboot it … just patch.

Image courtesy of Free Digital Photos

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