IPv6 : Complete These 5 Steps to Prepare

painlosososSoftware and s/w Development

Jun 30, 2012 (5 years and 4 months ago)

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Executive Summary
Global growth of the Internet has been driven by the increased use of computing and communication
technology. Mobile equipment, home appliances and other consumer devices will be online and
interconnected. In a new “machine to machine” Internet, invisible computing devices will far
outnumber current IT devices. Each of these devices needs an IP address.
The current Internet Protocol (IP) addressing system that Internet devices use – called IPv4 – will
run out of addresses in 2011. A new protocol, IPv6, has been introduced to provide a virtually
limitless address space. It will help enable capabilities such as push applications, peer-to-peer based
applications and cloud computing over the Internet.
The arrival of IPv6 does introduce a new problem for Internet users – IPv4 is not compatible with
IPv6, and the transition from the earlier standard to the standard of the future presents significant
challenges. In this paper we will discuss these challenges, together with the steps AT&T is taking to
help enable a smooth transition for our customers. We will also provide guidelines to help enterprises
prepare for IPv6 and take advantage of the strategic opportunities IPv6 will bring.
IPv6: Complete These
5 Steps to Prepare
IPv6: Complete These 5 Steps to Prepare
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Understanding IPv4 and IPv6
IPv4 was first developed in the early 1980s and is still the predominant
standard for addressing the “packets” of digital information that flow
over the Internet. But IPv4 offers a limited number of possible unique
addresses. After 30 years of Internet growth never anticipated back in
1980, the supply of addresses is almost gone. Less than 6% of IPv4
global addresses remain for allocation.
The IPv6 standard, defined in December 1998 by the Internet Engineering
Task Force (IETF), provides a larger address space than the IPv4 protocol.
IPv6 makes 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456
addresses available, compared to just over 4,000,000,000 with IPv4.
The Internet won’t suddenly shut down when IPv4 addresses run
out, but the transition from IPv4 to IPv6 is taking on new urgency.
Though some IPv4 addresses can be recycled and other workarounds
are available, more and more new Internet users will be using IPv6
addresses. Unless preparations are made and the right technology is
in place, organizations using only IPv4 systems will find many potential
customers are out of reach.
This problem will likely need to be addressed faster by enterprises
working with Asian, European and Middle Eastern regions. Because
these regions received a relatively smaller historical allocation of IPv4
addresses, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa will be forerunners
in using IPv6 addresses. Unless companies enable IPv6, they will find it
increasingly difficult to reach these large and growing bases of consumers.
Now is the Time
For enterprises the transition to IPv6 will not happen overnight. The
process takes thorough planning, preparation and execution. The
number of “edges” and the depth of the network that mustbe IPv6 –
enabled will impact the complexity of the transition. Even a simple
transition may take 6 months to implement.
Every networked device, every software application and every
interface with customers, suppliers and other key stakeholders must
be examined and tested to verify that it is compatible with IPv6. This
process has the potential to be as complex as it is important.
The impact of IPv6 will vary from one organization to another, and
there will be important differences among functions and operations
even within the same enterprise. The urgency with which the
organization must move will be driven by the nature of the business.
For instance, a business that relies on the Internet for marketing and
sales communication with customers in Asia should place the highest
priority on adopting IPv6.
Now is the time for every enterprise to understand how they, their
customers, suppliers and other business partners will be affected by
the move from IPv4 to IPv6 – and start planning to transition.
Living in a Dual-Protocol World
The roughly four billion IPv4 addresses already issued will not vanish
over night. IPv4 will continue to coexist with IPv6 for years, though
virtually all new devices and all Internet growth will employ IPv6. The
IETF has defined several methods for transition and co-existence:
Tranistion Mechanisms
Dual-stack allows IPv4 and IPv6 to co-exist in the same devices and
networks. Another approach, called Tunneling, allows IPv6 packets to
be transmitted over an IPv4 infrastructure, or vice versa. Translation, a
third approach and a work in progress, would enable IPv6-only devices
to communicate with IPv4-only devices.
Is NAT a Solution?
Not all carriers will be able to provide network address translation
(NAT). Even if NAT is implemented by a provider, significant business
impacting issues will result. Carrier-provided translation may fix site
“reachability,” but that will introduce new problems. Once a carrier
deploys NAT to address IPv4/Ipv6 communication issues, all IP
addresses may appear as if they are coming from the same source…
the carrier. This will have a significant impact on many areas of an
enterprise, particularly marketing and IT security.
Enterprises will lose intelligence about individuals visiting their website.
This will limit the personalization of content. For example: a retail site
may push related items to a customer based upon previous clicks. This
customization will not longer be available, as the user will not be able
to be identified by the IP address.
Many enterprises also employ access control lists to block IP addresses
known for sending SPAM. This capability will also be impacted through
a NAT implementation.
Why Be Concerned About IPv6?
IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) is expected to run
out of IPv4 addresses for the U.S. around 2011
• IPv6 address will be allocated to new customers
upon exhaustion
• IPv4 addresses do not readily communicate with
IPv6 addresses
• IP-enabled mobile devices may not locate IPv4 sites
• IPv4/IPv6 eCommerce sites may not be able to receive
orders from IPv6/IPv4 users
Increasing IPv6 adoption in Asia and EMEA
• Communication with global customers will be difficult w/o
IPv6 presence
• A potential loss of global business opportunity exists
without IPv6 preparation
Provider “fixes” may make website visitors appear to be from
the same IP address
• Customized marketing will become more difficult
• Enterprises may experience increased SPAM activity
IPv6 is a foreign concept to many customers
• Most enterprises do not understand the impact/scope of
the transition
IPv6: Complete These 5 Steps to Prepare
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IPv6 Preparation: Follow These Steps
Enterprises should closely examine operations, products and
infrastructure, as well as methods for communicating with customers
and suppliers, to understand the complexity of the transition. Now is
the time to ensure that the network edge is ready for IPv6 – with dual
stack, tunneling or full conversion to IPv6. Enterprises should also be
communicating with suppliers and content providers to verify their
ability to deal with the change and keep networking data moving.
In this section we outline a step-by-step process for conducting an
IPv6 readiness review.
Step 1: Establish A Governance Team That Will Oversee The Transition
This team will establish transition timelines, sequencing and
interdependencies. The program and timelines should be reviewed
at frequent intervals to assess the execution.
Step 2: Quantify Infrastructure Readiness And Understand
Transition Impacts
With this evaluation, all network components and applications should
be examined for IPv6 readiness. After the inventory is completed, a
cost assessment should be done to understand the financial impact of
the transition.
Step 3: Evaluate Transition Technologies
As mentioned earlier, enterprises can choose from multiple approaches
to prepare the network for IPv6. Once the network assessment is
completed, transition technologies, such as tunneling and translation
mechanisms, need to be researched to understand which solution best
fits business needs. Feasible interconnectivity options and architectures
that can support IPv6 must be determined. And, finally, a thorough
transition strategy and timeline, which should start with Internet facing
services, then core, then edge, would be established.
Step 4: Engineer the Solution
In this phase, detailed design and equipment configurations, transition
sequencing and transition engineering tasks should be developed. IP
addressing, procurement and allocation should be defined, as well as
Domain Name System (DNS) and Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol
(DHCP). “Computers that are connected to IP networks must be
configured before they can communicate with other computers on
the network. DHCP allows a computer to be configured automatically,
eliminating the need for intervention by a network administrator. It
also provides a central database for keeping track of computers that
have been connected to the network. This prevents two computers
from accidentally being configured with the same IP address.”
1
“There
are two versions of DHCP, one for IPv4 and one for IPv6. While both
versions bear the same name and perform much the same purpose,
the details of the protocol for IPv4 and IPv6 are sufficiently different
that they can be considered separate protocols.”
2
Step 5: Conduct Testing and Piloting
Before IPv6 is rolled out, enterprises may elect to pilot the solution
that was developed. Test labs can be created to verify that established
plans will work. Enterprises should procure and set up an IPv6 sandbox
to test infrastructure design and application integration. Pilot sites
can be deployed to validate IPv6 integration. Once the solution is
successfully tested, the IPv6 transition plan can be executed.
Is AT&T Prepared?
AT&T has spent several years preparing for IPv6. As a leading
global communications provider, we have a responsibility to support
our customers in the transition to IPv6. This is an effort of broad
scope and great complexity: anything that touches digital data or is
IP-related, anywhere across the global enterprise, must be reviewed,
analyzed and, if necessary, adapted to be IPv6-ready. Our IPv6
strategy includes two major components:
• Preparing our network, products and services to be IPv6 ready
• Supporting and educating our customers to start planning for IPv6
Since most products and services are supported by the network, the
first course of action used by AT&T was to make sure the Common
Backbone could accommodate IPv4 and IPv6 addresses. This
preparation began years ago. Our next step is to provide our transport
offerings the capability to communicate both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses,
and then extend IPv6 support to our managed services and application
services offers.
Adapting Products and Infrastructure
AT&T is investing millions to prepare our network, products and
services for IPv6. Our transition effort touches many organizations
across the corporation: product planning and management, information
technology, content services, supply chain management and more. In
order to prepare for IPv6, AT&T has established a separate corporate
program office. This corporate program office is managing more than
80 IPv6 projects. The work is organized into two focus areas.
• Product Readiness
Thirty five percent of AT&T products are Internet Protocol-related.
Every product or service, whether it is a longtime part of the AT&T
portfolio or a product still in development, must have a roadmap
for transition to IPv6. AT&T has developed a detailed plan to enable
IPv6 across its portfolio of business services in phases over the
next several years. Core IP network transport services have been
prioritized into the earliest phases.
In the first stage, AT&T is preparing the foundational enterprise IP
transport services, such as AT&T Managed Internet Service (MIS)
and AT&T Virtual Private Network Service (AVPN) to be IPv6 ready
in 2010 and early 2011. We will then follow on with our managed
services, application services, and consumer services.
• Infrastructure Readiness
Because so many AT&T offerings are network-based services, it
is crucial to validate that the network and other infrastructure
components are prepared for IPv6. The Infrastructure Readiness
group is helping to ensure:
– The network backbone is ready for IPv6

IP systems and infrastructure are ready to support products,
services and customers
– Ordering, provisioning, billing and maintenance are enabled for
the transition
– Vendors offering products and services that support AT&T
products and services are prepared for IPv6…. vendor preparation
is a key part of the AT&T readiness program
– IT applications, HR systems and other common infrastructure
elements – those not directly tied to a product – are ready for IPv6
IPv6: Complete These 5 Steps to Prepare
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________
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For more information contact an AT&T Representative or visit www.att.com/business.
Network evolution technologies, like LTE, will contemplate IPv6 in
their deployment activities. LTE, or Long-Term Evolution, is the next
generation of the mobile broadband technology platform that powers
the AT&T 3G mobile network today.
AT&T Consulting Services
AT&T is utilizing its own learning and experience with IPv6 to help
enterprises. The AT&T Consulting practice is helping enterprises
develop IPv6 business plans that extend beyond the scope of simply
enabling dual stack addressing on their VPN and Internet ports. The
IPv6 Consulting group from AT&T can help with every step required to
make a smooth transition to the new protocol, including: developing a
strategy, identifying requirements, analyzing architecture, establishing
a roadmap, engineering and designing a solution, piloting and testing
the solution, and helping with the final implementation. Please
contact your account representative today to begin your tranisiton.
Also visit IPv6: Live Chat Transcripts and http://www.business.att.com/
enterprise/online_campaign/ipv6/ for more information on IPv6.
Notes
1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_Host_Configuration_Protocol
2. Ralph Droms; Ted Lemon (2003). The DHCP Handbook. SAMS
Publishing. p. 436. ISBN 0-672-32327-3.
12/06/10 AB-2026
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