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Many companies unaware that they can deploy IPv6 in stages

By Donna Donnowitz
July 28, 2011
The notion that an organization needs to deploy IPv6 everywhere at the same time is a very common misconception these days. The reality is that this is not always the case, at least not right away, Network World reports.

If a company is trying to represent its organization on the internet, then it can start with its external internet resources. The company does not necessarily need to have every network segment, host, application and service lit up with IPv6 internally in order to do that.

If the company has hosts internal to its environment that need access to IPv6-enabled services and applications, then it can start with those specific hosts. This is, again, most likely not all of an entire organization on day one, according to the report.

There are a few “start here” scenarios that have been shown to be effective, the report said.

The first one is called call “Core-to-Edge.” This model is used when a company has no defined time frame for deployment, but wants to have its network prepared for the eventuality of IPv6 services.

The second approach is called “Edge-to-Core.” This is a more difficult deployment step as it relies nearly completely on tunneling. This approach is used by companies that need to connect endpoints to the internet or their own internal data centers and apps that are IPv6-enabled, and want to do so in a hurry.

A third strategy is called the “Internet Edge-Only” model. This approach is quite popular these days, the report said, and simply has the Internet Edge IPv6-enabled so the organization can represent its services and content over both the existing IPv4 connection and the new IPv6 connection. With the Internet Edge-Only model, the internal network can be IPv6 enabled over time if the company determines that it wants to move in that direction.

IPv6 is being touted as essential to the future growth of the internet as it opens up a wealth of new address space for web portals, devices and applications.

Migration from IPv4 to IPv6 has been moving very quickly in some areas, but lagging in others. The Asia/Pacific region has been leading the world when it comes to upgrading to IPv6. This has been prompted in part by an announcement by the Asia Pacific Network Information Center that the free pool of IPv4 addresses has been effectively exhausted. Rapid growth in electronic devices in the region has also been a key driver.


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