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5 practical reasons to plan your IPv6 transition early

 

 

By Yanick Pouffary

 

Do you remember the early days of wireless networking? Back in the late ’90s when companies reluctantly deployed Wi-Fi, not sure if the technology would pay off? Fast forward to today and the idea of questioning wireless is laughable. Today it’s laughable for enterprises to not offer wireless connectivity!

 

IPv6, the new Internet protocol, is in the same place wireless was in the late ‘90s. Like wireless, IPv6 will revolutionize networking. And mark my word: One day we will wonder why anyone even questioned their transition to IPv6.

 

The difference with IPv6 is that it’s conducive to a gradual transition. By planning your IPv6 deployment early, you can minimize your risks, costs and complexities. So, as forward-looking customers, partners, competitors and vendors begin their journey to IPv6, don’t you think you should start too?   

 

Practical reasons to start your IPv6 journey now

Analogies to wireless technology aside, there are several practical reasons to start your IPv6 transition early:

 

  1. You may not have any global IPv4 addresses—or access to a new pool of addresses. (See my earlier post Your Transition to IPv6: The Best Time to Get Started Is Right Now.)

  2. IPv6 touches every aspect of your IT ecosystem—networking gear, servers, applications, mobile services, security devices, your Intranet and public Web site.

  3. Establishing at least a presence on the IPv6 Internet will allow you to connect to the IPv6 Internet.

  4. Entire markets in emerging countries are already on IPv6, which means the sooner you adopt IPv6, the sooner you can tap those markets.

  5. If you work in a government agency or you supply IT equipment to the government, IPv6 is mandated.

 

 

Given the breadth of IPv6’s impact on your IT ecosystem, common sense dictates that the longer you delay your IPv6 transition, the more complicated and expensive it will be. And procrastinating until you’re forced into a forklift implementation could wreak havoc on your business.

 

 

The benefits of planning your IPv6 transition early

One advantage to planning your IPv6 transition in advance is that it enables a holistic approach to your IT ecosystem. For instance, if you’re already planning a refresh of some routers and switches, you can simply make IPv6-enabled gear part of your purchase plan. (See last week’s blog post by Jeff Enters and myself: Transitioning to IPv6 may not be as hard as you think — but beware these 3 myths.)

 

Planning early will also help you build a business case for moving to IPv6. Do you have a highly mobile workforce that needs to connect to headquarters? Do you have key business partners on the IPv6 network? Do you need to comply with IPv6 regulatory requirements? Can your business create new revenue streams on the IPv6 Internet? Starting early will give you time to answer these questions and build a solid business (and technology) case for IPv6.

 

There’s no “right way” to transition to IPv6

Every organization will have a different IPv6 transition plan. It depends on your business plan, current IT infrastructure, and goals for IPv6. But every plan should start with a network assessment and a full understanding of your IPv6 transition goals.

 

A network assessment will reveal if and where IPv6-enabled devices already exist on your network. Remember, lots of network gear and devices ship with IPv6 enabled by default, so you may already have IPv6 running without even knowing it. (Look for a separate post about this shortly.) A network assessment will also help you figure out where to start and how to deploy IPv6.

 

For some real-world reference, following are three possible (remember there is no “right way”) IPv6 transition paths, depending on a company’s technology adoption profile:

 

  • A conservative company might initially secure its internal network, ensuring all security devices are IPv6-aware and filtering out traffic. It may then establish an external IPv6 web presence so customers on the ''IPv6 internet'' can access web-based applications (e.g. e-commerce capabilities).

 

  • A middle-of-the-road company might allow internal IPv6 traffic within some divisions for specific business reasons — for instance, to support an IPv6 product-development team, a mobile sales workforce, or a division doing remote monitoring. This company might also establish an external IPv6 web presence to connect with customers on the “IPv6 Internet.”  

 

  • A progressive company might allow both IPv4 and IPv6 traffic on its internal network and across its firewall. It might also have a public IPv6 web site and deploy advanced peer-to-peer applications leveraging IPv6 technical advantages.

 

Regardless of how quickly your organization adopts new technology, planning your IPv6 transition in advance will pay off in many ways. You’ll not only be able to tap new markets and reap the benefits of the next-generation Internet, but you’ll likely save money and avoid headaches in the process.

 

If you’ve begun the process or have advice on how to migrate to IPv6, please leave a comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

Learn how HP's IPv6 Consulting Services can help you ease your IPv6 transition.

 

And for more information on IPv6, visit the IPv6 Forum or the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).

 

Yanick Pouffary is HP Distinguished Technologist; HP IPv6 Global Leader; and Chief Architect, HP Enterprise Services Office of the CTO.

 

UPDATE:

HP recently held an expert chat focused on IPv6 networking, and how companies can minimize the risks, costs, and complexities of transitioning to IPv6. Learn how HP can help you meet the challenges of today’s dual-protocol world and how to develop a plan for phased deployment that meets your specific needs. Register now.

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  • I’m a Global Strategist, a certified (PMI) Project Manager, specializing in business to IT alignment, agility consulting, Infrastructure Transformation and Strategic Architecture for Big Data, Mobility, Private Cloud, Unified Communications and Collaboration. I drive the strategy, vision and content of strategic consulting services in the Big Data IT Infrastructure services area at HP. As part of this, I meet with senior level customers to understand their challenges, conduct workshops to determine future vision and roadmaps as well as presenting at industry and analyst events.
  • Craig Partridge is the WW strategy lead for HP Technology Services Networking group. His role now covers strategy for consulting, professional and support services. The major areas of focus are Mobility, UC, Cloud Networking and IPv6. All aligned to core HP networking solutions - simplified, secure, optimized and available.
  • Don has held roles with the business and marketing of consulting for HP. Currently he supports HP's Client and Microsoft Solutions and the emerging Mobility Consulting services. He holds a MBA from UCLA's Anderson School.
  • Over 12 years of consulting, new technology services development and marketing experience covering data center, IT infrastructure, cloud technology domains. Hande holds a M.B.A degree from Bentley College, MA.
  • Having joined HP in 2003 Ian Jagger is the world-wide marketing and program manager for HP Technology Consulting's Strategic Consulting Services, Critical Facilities Services and Energy and Sustainability Management Services, as well as emerging IT services Prior to his current role, he served as the HP Services Marketing Manager for Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, having joined HP in a similar role in the Middle East. Prior to HP Jagger had a 15 year international sales career, culminating in being Sales and Marketing Director for Steelcase Inc addressing Northern Europe before focusing more specifically on marketing. His initial focus was consultancy and interim marketing management, primarily for small to mid-sized customers based or looking to expand in the Middle Eastern region. Immediately prior to joining HP he was a strategic marketing consultant addressing investment targets for a technology fund. Born in Rochdale, United Kingdom, Jagger holds an honors bachelor of science degree in economics and a degree in social psychology from Loughborough University, England. He also holds a Masters Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and a Chartered Marketer. He has one daughter and lives in Cary, North Carolina.
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  • Jordan Lee has over twenty years of consulting and industry experience, helping some of the world’s largest firms craft and implement their business and IT strategies. His priority is to advise Hewlett-Packard clients how to best prepare for and take full advantage of the dramatic shifts in the IT economy taking place today. Over his career, Mr. Lee has held executive positions both in industry and consulting organizations, where he has provided consulting to some of the largest firms in the US. Over the years, he has helped his clients redesign business processes and organizations, and implement strategic IT programs around ERP, System Integration, Business Intelligence, and IT Infrastructure.
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  • Broad mix of experiences developed in more than 20 years of technology-driven innovation. Fascinated by changes triggered by mix of behavior, needs and technology. Bachelor in Theoretical Physics.
  • Working for EMEA TS Consulting, I am a Specialist in end to end management of customer data, from creation through consumption, to protection and preservation and ultimately (controlled) destruction. This includes, host, connectivity, storage, data protection and backup and archive, from a technical and more importantly, operational perspective. I have worked in the storage and data management industry for over 15 years, on both sides of the desk, as a customer and now as a consultant.
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  • Tim Swiader has twenty plus years in the Information Technology industry. He has worked primarily with the fortune 100 and legacy carriers transforming their applications, networks and data center facilities.
  • Tom Clement has over 30 years experience in the areas of adult learning, secondary education, and leadership development. During this time Tom has been a consistent champion of “non-traditional” training delivery methods, including blended learning, virtual delivery (self paced and instructor led), the use of training games and simulations, and experiential learning. Tom has spent the past 25 years of his career at Hewlett Packard, focused most recently on HP’s global Virtualization, Cloud, and Converged Infrastructure customer training programs. Tom manages the strategic direction and overall performance of these training programs, ensuring these worldwide programs help HP’s customers capitalize on the business opportunities made available by IT advancements in each of these subject areas. Tom and his global teammates utilize best in class instructors, course content and supporting equipment infrastructure to deliver these training programs to HP’s customers. The team prides itself on providing the Virtualization, Cloud, and Converged Infrastructure content customers need when and where they need it, anywhere in the world. Tom is based in the Washington, DC suburbs and can be reached at tom.clement@hp.com.
  • Tari is a Distinguished Technologist with 30 years of IT and cyber security experience. He is dual board certified in information security/business continuity and is responsible for a wide range of management and technology consulting services encompassing information security, disaster recovery, privacy, and risk management. His problem-solving skills, knowledge of various technology platforms, compliance statutes, industries, as well as his experience in deploying defense-in-depth and InfoSec Program solution architectures is commonly applied when advising CIOs/CISOs as well as leveraged in numerous HP client engagements throughout the world. Tari has designed, built, and managed some of the world’s largest InfoSec programs allowing them to defend against even the most aggressive attackers.
  • I provide technical consulting services at all phases including analysis, planning, design and implementation. I have a wide range of experience in WAN and LAN technologies, as well as providing security solutions and deploying operating system infrastructure. Besides working directly with clients to deploy technology in their data centers, I also find myself architecting or discussing solutions with a business’s chief information officer, helping to lay out a roadmap for the coming years.
  • Bill is the Principal Data Center Energy Technologist for HP Technology Services. Kosik is a licensed professional engineer, LEED Accredited Professional, a Certified Energy Manager, and a Building Energy Modeling Professional. He is responsible for research and implementation of sustainable, energy-efficient, and environmentally responsible design strategies for data centers. He is currently a subject matter expert for the USGBC on the new LEED Data Centers, the EPA/DOE on unification of energy metrics, and the Green Grid on responding to the EPA’s Energy Star for Data Centers program. He has an engineering degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


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