The US Federal Government, like many large IT organizations and other national governments recognizes the important of transition their networks to support IPv6. On Sept 2010 a memo on the transition to IPv6, was issued by then Federal CIO; Vivek Kundra, outlining the government’s commitment and rational behind expediting the operational deployment and use of IPv6.
By Gina Nienaber, Marketing Manager, Service Provider (SP) Marketing Routing and Switching
Once again, just in case you missed it, the world is really running out of IPv4 Addresses. This time it is for real and if you are not a believer yet, you can investigate and find the second of the worlds five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) is about to run out of IPv4 addresses. News of this historic event broke last week through an Internet Society guest blog post by Axel Pawlik, Managing Director of RIPE. The blog announced we clearly have turned another page in the IPv4 history books as the Réseaux IP Européens Network Coordination Centre (RIPE NCC) has begun allocating their last IPv4 /8 blocks. If you are not familiar with RIPE NCC they are the independent, not-for-profit membership organization that supports the infrastructure of the Internet in Europe. The most prominent activity of the RIPE NCC is to act as the Regional Internet Registry (RIR) providing global Internet resources and related services (IPv4, IPv6 and AS Number resources) to members in the RIPE NCC service region.
What does this really mean? How many addresses are left to allocate? If you’re Read More »
Twice a year, I get to experience a peculiar mix of stress and satisfaction that comes from participating in the design and operations of internal networks for the (US and European) CiscoLive – networks these events depend upon.
My role is vital to the efficiency of the whole system, but certainly not glamorous. If I were to compare the CiscoLive network with a dental office, I’d be the technician that only fixes the upper-right tooth – and ensures you continue to breathe well. More specifically, I’d be working on “the number 6 molar” – because I deal with the client-facing setup of IPv6, and the monitoring of all the related dependencies and results.
First a bit of disclosure. I have worked for Cisco over 15 years, much of that time as the lead developer for EIGRP. I think I understand its strengths and weakness’ very well, and have spent a great deal of energy minimizing them.
I often find comparing protocols similar to the old “tab vs spaces” or “emacs vs vi” wars. There are valid reasons to choose one over the other and in the grand scheme of things it comes down to a wash; often preference or ‘religion’. EIGRP seems to victim to this . I mean where are the “ISIS vs OSPF” debates? With EIGRP, network engineers that love it – love it. Those that don’t, well they don’t. Arguing its merits often results in an equally long list of “yea but” demerits.
For example, most everyone would agree eigrp is “simple to deploy”, but detractors would argue that simplicity leads to sloppy designs and only though complexity can we force network engineers to “do their job” and design the network properly. Read More »
Why is it important to start thinking about IPv6 across your entire network especially the data center?
Remember the term Y2K? The panic and haphazardness that was there to ensure every single device and application was compatible with Y2K? I see IPv6 as a similar situation except that there is no impending date forcing you to adopt it.
The more you wait, the more you lose time to develop IPv6 architecture with ease and peace of mind so that things are done right. And if not done way ahead of time, then you may end up doing things quickly to ensure the business is operational with a poorly designed and operated IPv6 network.
The Next Generation Data Center
IPv6 is becoming ever increasingly important and critical with the success and proliferation of mobile devices and other such applications that require enormous addressing needs. Lot of customers are taking the first step to enable IPv6 in their Internet edge, Campus and WAN edges, but very few customer are realizing the importance of enabling IPv6 inside their data centers.
I came across few such customers that are eager to enable IPv6 inside the data center but have not done any planning or design. Before coming to the reasons why they are eager, it is nevertheless important to say that IPv6 is going to be the protocol of the future.
As an Advanced Services Solutions Architect for the Data Center Practices team, one of my jobs is to deliver planning and designing workshop for customers who are looking into building their “next generation data center architecture”. The word Next Generation is enough to tell them that they should start not only planning and design but most importantly start assessing their data center devices and design to enable IPv6.
My Experience with Customers
In this post, I want to share my experience with customers who are seriously planning to take the next step of building the next generation data center, yet are completely skipping IPv6 in their planning phase. For most of these customers, replacing the Catalyst platform with the newer Nexus platform is extent of building the next generation data center in their minds.
Others want to use the newer, cooler features in the Nexus platform like vPC, VDC, OTV and FabricPath. Agreed, that these features and architectures would entitle their data centers to be called “next generation” but the actual plumbing of the new data Center is still the same: IPv4.
Change the Plumbing, its time
In my view, the real next generation architecture is where you enable the new plumbing system inside the data center and be ready to shift to the enormous and powerful protocol when the business needs you to.
Migrating or integrating IPv6 is not a job that will take few days or months. It will take serious planning and effort to ensure that the expertise in-house is familiar and comfortable with the gigantic protocol whose similarity with IPv4 ends at the first three letters used to represent both the protocols: IPv 😉