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How to get IPv6, now

Unless you have been living under a rock, you should know by now that the IPv4 address pool is exhausted and you need to start using IPv6.  In fact, you may even be convinced.   How can you get your network connected to the growing IPv6 capable Internet, ideally in time for World IPv6 Day

Start with your Internet service provider (ISP).  Although not every ISP currently provides IPv6 service, the list grows in proportion to customer demand.  Free, Comcast, and Softbank are just some examples of prominent ISPs who have large scale public IPv6 trials and rollouts.  Even if your ISP has not announced an IPv6 plan, contact them.  You might be able to become early adopter on an unannounced trial.

In the event that your provider has not yet seized the opportunity to provide IPv6 service, you can seek out a public tunnel broker, a service that allows you to “tunnel” IPv6 packets across an IPv4-only connection to the IPv6 capable Internet.  A number of tunnel broker providers like Hurricane Electric, SixXS and Freenet6 provide tunneling points of presence at many locations worldwide and will gladly issue an IPv6 prefix (or several!) for no charge.  Some tunnel brokers will even provide a BGP feed.  This is an excellent way to start gaining experience with IPv6 connectivity in your network.

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IPv6: The Time Has Come

IPv6’s time has come“IPv6’s time has come. For a long time considered a satisfactory but too costly technical solution to implement, IPv6 is now an issue that cannot be ignored.” Thus begins the preamble for the V6 World Congress Inaugural Event.

Conference Day One: On Tuesday, February 8th, Mark Townsley, of Cisco opened the meeting with the first keynote presentation: Business Case for IPv6 -- giving an overview of the state of the Internet and the Networking Industry. The central theme of the meeting was how “…as an industry we need to work together to create a network effect, in order to stimulate a virtuous cycle of IPv6 deployment amongst all the players in the industry.”

Erik Kline of Google spoke at the meeting along with distinguished guests. Google, Facebook, Comcast, Akamai and others highlighted what they were working on. Content providers such as YouTube also spoke about their involvement in IPv6. Alexandre Cassen from Free (Iliad Group) made an announcement that they already have more than 490,000 users on IPv6. Free Telecom’s new Freebox gives new subscribers IPv6 by default.

“Free is committed to providing the latest innovations for its customers, including full support today for the IP Next-Generation Network, IPv6. We have chosen the Cisco Series Aggregation Services Routers ASR 1000 router for their support of an integrated high-performance IPv6 Rapid Deployment or 6rd technology, which allows us to supply IPv6 to our users in a remarkably simple and cost-efficient manner.”
Maxime Lombardini, chief executive officer, Free (Iliad Group, France)

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IPv6 Myths

In the first installment of our series of IPv6 posts, we covered some basic differences between IPv4 and IPv6. In this post, we’ll talk about some common myths regarding IPv6.

The initial IPv6 standards originated in 1998 with the publication of RFC 2460 – “Internet Protocol, Version 6 (IPv6) Specification.” The main intent behind IPv6 was to solve the issue of the limited address space available in IPv4. Over time, other features such as Stateless Address Autoconfiguration (SLAAC), Network Renumbering, and mandatory IPSec support were also added to IPv6. In reality, however, the main benefit of IPv6 is the expansion of the address space. Over those 10+ years, numerous myths, however, have surfaced, many of which can impact the security of your IPv6 network. Understanding the truth behind these misconceptions is important, especially now, as IPv6 is being deployed on more and more networks.

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Convince Your Boss to Participate in World IPv6 Day

At this point, the technical community should already understand that IPv4 addresses are gone and that IPv6 is the best way to keep the Internet growing. Although we have known for years that this day would arrive, the community doesn’t always see the need to act. The common refrain is that there’s no killer app and no return on investment. Well, the Internet itself is the killer app -- if a business uses the Internet for any reason at all today then that business needs deal with the fact that the public Internet will deploy IPv6 and react accordingly.  That encompasses a pretty broad set of scenarios -- hosted services, online banking, student registration, government services, telecommuter access, remote site connections, backup network connections, partner sites, on-line advertising, retail, social media … the list goes on. 

Clients have started to demand IPv6 accessible services.  The U.S. Government is demanding IPv6 compliance as a condition in its procurements and organizations like ARIN will require IPv6 accessibility of vendor as a condition on their external contractors.  In the rapidly growing mobile telephony space, providers are looking to roll out native IPv6 service in order to reduce the network complexity and the reliance on Network Address Translation services.  Enterprises that provide native IPv6 connectivity will have an advantage in this space.

You may already have some ideas or plans to roll out or test IPv6, or may have spent some time testing in the lab. But how can you really see if your enterprise is ready to provide IPv6 services?

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For IPv4 the Sunset Begins. For IPv6 the Day Is Just Getting Started

That was quick! I mentioned earlier in the week that, in any day, the IANA would hand out the last IPv4 address. Today it happened. And coinciding with the X-day, our panel discussed the true impact of the IPv4 address run-out. To mitigate it, Cisco’s Carrier-Grade IPv6 (CGv6) solution is designed to help enable a smooth transition.

Cisco Carrier Grade IPv6 (CGv6) Solution

One interesting observation I’ve seen is how something as obtuse and techie as IPv6  has generated so much interest in the main stream press - such as this article at the Wall Street Journal, Web Running Out of Addresses.  Even my mother asked me about it on the phone last night “will the internets shut down?” No way mom…we’ve got that covered. The Internet will be Preserved, Prepared, and then Prosper!

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