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Setting Up an IPv6 Testing Plan

In my previous blog, I talked about building out a lab to help with IPv6 integration testing.  It cannot be understated how important it is to test any new feature that is going to be deployed on the network.  This statement is true independent of the feature involved.  In this case, we are talking about IPv6, but we could just as easily be talking about virtualization or BYOD.

So now that we have the lab build up in progress, what’s next?  Read More »

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Real World Demonstration of MAP for IPv6

andrewyourtchenkoBy Andrew Yourtchenko, Technical Leader, Network Operations Systems Technology Group

As any geek, I find it a lot of fun to get some hands with the new technology – be it a new gadget, new product or a solution.

It’s not very often that I have a chance to play with a whole new protocol. EANTC (European Advanced Network Testing Center) interoperability testing gave me such a chance. The bulk of the work happened on EANTC premises in Germany this past February. The overall activity involved many representatives from various vendors making their devices talk to each other. The goal is to test the protocols in several areas, including MPLS, SDN, and IPv6, but the highlight for me was the testing of MAP (Mapping Address and Port) – a new protocol to enable the sharing of IPv4 addresses by several customer premise devices without keeping the state at the service provider end.

This protocol is being developed by IETF, and has two flavours, the standards-track “MAP” which uses encapsulation to transmit the packets, otherwise known also as MAP, and the experimental track “MAP-T” – which uses the address family translation in order to send packets, instead of the encapsulation. Read More »

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Enterprise Networks and the Drive for IPv6

It was not that long ago that whenever I read an article about IPv6, it usually discussed how the IPv4 Address depletion in other countries. At that time, the adoption of IPv6 was coming from other countries that where the v4 address space was depleted, the US Government, or Service Provider. Well fast forward only a few years and you can include Enterprise Networks in that mix.

Driving this IPv6 train for enterprise networks is wireless technology and the enabling by-product, BYOD. Wireless technology, in particular, Wi-Fi has grown from a toy to a requirement in most businesses today. We have moved from 802.11b which gave you a max datarate of a paltry 11Mbps to 802.11n to a max datarate of 450Mbps if you currently deploy the Aironet 3600 Access Point that supports 4×4 MIMO; if not, it’s a max datarate of 300Mbps. Never mind the fact that we will soon see the Wave 1 version of 802.11ac will have a datarate of 1.3Gbps and Oh BTW, Wave 2 promises a scorching datarate of 6.9Gbps!

ipv6 bill

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Cisco Opens Up EIGRP

What’s new and exciting with EIGRP (Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol)? Actually, lots…  First a bit a background on EIGRP.

EIGRP is an advanced distance vector routing protocol used extensively by enterprise customers.  It is very popular because it is simple to deploy and support. Some major attributes are:

  • EIGRP does not mandate many network design requirements and is therefore perceived as “forgiving” and “flexible”.  For example, EIGRP does not require support for multiple routing sub-domains or Areas.
  • While route summarization is a recommended best practice to minimize route table size, it is optional with EIGRP.
  • EIGRP can scale to support thousands of routers in a Hub and Spoke configuration.  The Hub and Spoke design is especially popular in WAN networks.

For additional information on EIGRP, please click here.  There is also a great BLOG that compares EIGRP and OSPF that I think you will find informative and is posted here.

While EIGRP has a large customer following, some customers have hesitated because of concerns of EIGRP being “proprietary”, which would prevent them from multi-vendor network support.  In some cases this has caused customers to design their networks to limit usage of EIGRP, even though they would like to deploy it ubiquitously.  One result has been non-optimal network design and traffic flow, resulting from multiple IGP (Interior Gateway Protocol) redistribution points.

That brings me back to what is new and exciting with EIGRP. Read More »

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IPv4 depletion: Threat? Danger? Crisis? Turning IPv6 Up and IPv4 Down

I was interviewed recently for an article in Tweakers. It’s a good article, but I think a shade of meaning was lost in translation between Dutch and English. Hence, I’d like to restate the article in my own words.
The nuance of meaning revolves around the words “danger”, “threat”, and “crisis”. Joost opened the interview asking me whether I thought that IPv4 depletion presented a threat, and whether the Internet was in danger. I replied that there was a crisis, but not a threat.

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