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Transitioning to IPv6 may not be as hard as you think (but beware these 3 myths)



By Jeff Enters and Yanick Pouffary


As a rule, “better late than never” applies to many things in life: diets, doing your taxes, writing “thank you” notes. As for transitioning to IPv6 … not so much.


As you may know, the industry has been working the last fifteen years to replace Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) with IPv6, which will enable the continued growth and innovation of the Internet. Some network devices are already IPv6 compatible, and many organizations have begun transitioning to IPv6, notably the U.S. government and several ISPs.


But false rumors have also spread, suggesting that IPv6 requires “fork-lift” migrations that are expensive and complex. I’m here to tell you that’s not the case. While IPv6 is certainly critical to your enterprise, a transition doesn’t have to be as complex and expensive as you may think.  


Just as government agencies, ISPs, and we at HP took a phased approach to adopting IPv6, you can do the same. This can help you contain the cost and complexity of your transition. But what’s most important is that you begin the process now. Start by educating yourself on IPv6 to figure out how it will impact your organization. This will help you understand what a transition path might look like and how to go about a phased approach.



Dispelling the Myths of IPv6

The rumored scale and complexity of IPv6 migrations may have you hesitant to do anything. I’d like to kick-start you into action by clarifying three misperceptions:


Myth 1: A rip-and-replace of your entire IT infrastructure is necessary in order to move to IPv6. Not true. A phased approach, such as how the U.S. federal government is adopting IPv6, is perfectly viable. The key is understanding where and how to begin.


Myth 2: You really only need a few IPv4 addresses, so the expiration of the IPv4 address pool is a non-issue. Not true. As more organizations and markets adopt IPv6, and ubiquitous and always-on computing becomes the norm, it will be impossible to operate in the Internet-connected world without adopting IPv6.


Myth 3: You can work around the need for additional IPv4 addresses by simply using network address translation (NAT). Not true. NAT is inherently complicated and impossible to scale to support the number of connected devices. Using NAT as an alternative to IPv6 won’t work.



Start your IPv6 transition without breaking the bank

The first step in transitioning to IPv6 should be a network assessment to determine how and when you should make the transition. An assessment may reveal some surprises. For instance, because IPv6 has been built into servers, network devices and printers for several years, you might already have IPv6-capable equipment on your network.


After figuring out where you have IPv6-enabled equipment, you can then plan a phased transition to an IPv6 network. My advice is to identify logical IPv6 entry points, such as your customer-facing web site, a branch or remote office, or even within a campus network. Remember, there is no single “right” starting point. Add IPv6-enabled equipment to your IT equipment refresh plan. This will make the transition simpler and more seamless with your existing IT strategy.


Another important consideration is when your ISP is transitioning to IPv6. If your ISP’s IPv6 transition plan doesn’t sync with yours, it’s best to know that in advance. That way you can switch providers when your ISP contract expires. There’s no point in renewing your ISP contract if your provider can’t support your network. And getting out of a contract prematurely can be expensive.



Start now and reap the benefits sooner

The bottom line is that you don't need to spend millions of dollars rebuilding your network in order to transition to IPv6. You can go about it gradually, by aligning your IPv6 plan with your company's business strategy and IT refresh plan. But start now, by assessing your environment. The longer you wait, the longer it will take to reap the advantages of the next-generation Internet. Don’t be left behind!


What’s your understanding of IPv6’s transition challenges? Have they been borne out?


Learn how HP's IPv6 Consulting Services can get you started.


Learn more about HP Network Services for the Instant-On Enterprise.



Jeff Enters is a Technology Consultant with HP Technology Consulting


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



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.
  • Jeff Enters works in the HP Technology Services Networking organization and consults with customers on their IT strategies. He has over 20 years of consulting, design and integration experience in multi-vendor Voice and Data environments.
  • Editor and writer with 12+ years experience in the corporate software and technology sectors.
  • 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.
  • Jordan owns the worldwide mobility portfolio for TS Network Consulting and is a OneHP Mobility ambassador. His expertise centers on mobility strategy, client and applications virtualization and enterprise mobility management technologies.
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  • Ken Larson has over 30 years of experience in Information Technology aligning business to technology. As an Enterprise Architect, he has delivered many successful architecture related services across business and government sectors in manufacturing, insurance, banking, oil, utilities, US state and federal governments. He is certified in TOGAF and IT Service Management.
  • Laura Cunningham is a CPA and business consultant with HP Technology Services Consulting. She helps CIOs and their teams bridge the gap between what the CIO wants and what the CFO requires by building a comprehensive business case that can withstand financial scrutiny.
  • I am on the WW Cloud and Big Data Solutions Team. I help our customers adopt HP advanced solutions that are made up of products and services from across HP. I have over 30 years experience in the technology business including 17 years of business ownership.
  • 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.
  • Patrick Lownds is a Senior Technology Consultant and is involved in designing and delivering both Client Virtualization and Cloud Computing solutions in the datacenter. Patrick co-authored “Mastering Hyper-V Deployment
  • I’m a Global Chief Engineer certified Exchange Architect and Master (MCA and MCM), specializing in Messaging, Mobility, Private Cloud, Unified Communications and Collaboration. This relates to all work to coordinate sales, pursuit and delivery readiness in all services that relate to HP's portfolio around Microsoft Exchange. Includes internal readiness as well as external events, analyst briefings. With 25+ year’s experience in the industry. Thomas has been involved with Microsoft products since 1993. Specialties: - Architecting complex public and private Cloud solutions for Exchange, SharePoint and Lync in standard, dedicated or hybrid scenarios. - Lead the HP specialists team unit to win and acheive our business targets and budget - Drive HP's Exchange Services for Private Cloud - Working with partners, vendors and internal teams to align, expand and grow HP's strategy.
  • 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
  • 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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