IPv6 has been deployed almost everywhere. But it is still stigmatized with old assumptions that are no longer true these days, such as equipment readiness, upstream IPv6 support, and skill availability.
The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) recently released a best practice guide, which it hopes will address these assumptions by providing a non-technical overview and practical strategies for IPv6 deployment for high-level stakeholders.
What I like about this document is that it’s not another technical description of IPv6. Rather, it is a collection of real world, community-driven experiences on testing and deploying IPv6. Readers can gain much insight from what others have trialled and refined, but most importantly, they can gain confidence and motivation to undertake similar projects.
Some key lessons from businesses and governments to consider include:
- The necessity of employee training, certainly in the case of technical employees, but depending on the business, some non-technical personnel as well.
- The advantages of working from the outside in when deploying IPv6 in business by first deploying IPv6 via dual stack technology for public-facing services, and then migrating to IPv6 on internal networks.
- To make the transition easier, businesses should set internal deadlines and engage with customers, keeping them notified, if not engaged, during the deployment process.
- One policy option for encouraging IPv6 adoption suggested for ISPs, is to use cost incentives, for example raising the price for IPv4, a scarce resource that is becoming costly to maintain, and providing IPv6 to the customer without extra charge.
While these examples make the document seem targeted towards upper management, governments and regulators, there are numerous great technical examples that would benefit all network engineers and operators, in particular, those who are about to start or are in the middle of IPv6 implementation. On this basis, this document will be extremely important for the Asia Pacific region because it provides a fresh look at what works in deploying IPv6 – which can be half the battle.
Finally I want to make a point about the development of this document. It is another great example of cross-stakeholder global collaboration. Kudos must go to the IGF Secretariat for supporting and facilitating this initiative, and to Susan Chalmers for leading the editing process. Also thanks to all those in the Asia Pacific region who contributed to the document.
I encourage you to read this guide as a reference, find sections most relevant to your situation and follow the links to source documents or contact contributors to get more detailed information. Most importantly, continue to share your experiences and knowledge on IPv6.
The views expressed by the authors of this blog are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of APNIC. Please note a Code of Conduct applies to this blog.