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IPv6 (slowly) switching for good

canned-phoneThe “new old” internet protocol IPv6 is adopted slowly but surely.

After the World IPv6 Day 2011 and the World IPv6 Launch Day 2012, the topic has been pushed back into the background.

In the meantime, the new protocol has arrived in everyday life: Mobile telephones in the LTE network are thus building tunnels, home users increasingly use IPv6 without knowing it, and Apple forces app developers to make their apps compatible.

Around seven percent of the Internet traffic is now running over IPv6. In Germany it is already over 28 percent. In the meantime, we are one of the world’s leading countries in terms of usage. Of course, this is also due to the fact that large operators such as Google and Facebook are now IPv6-capable and also the Provider side has moved.

Good reasons to change

Thus, while the use of the B2C market is growing steadily, many companies in the B2B environment have little interest in the topic. IPv4 addresses are still available, although prices are rising slowly.

Img 1: Google IPv6 Statistics
Img 1: Google IPv6 Statistics

Those who run large networks or have established many (VPN) tunnels to partner companies are the ones most affected by the shortage. Some are still lucky enough to have their own Class-A or Class-B network from the time when IP addresses were still in abundance. However, mergers (and also sales) of companies or parts thereof often cause the internal network to be renumbered. For some, even the private network is already well-developed, so that for example on is selected, which is actually reserved for AMPRNet (AMateur Packet Radio Network). For VPN tunnels, cumbersome NAT constructs and static DNS entries need to be used, which make the operation and the error search complex. Providers have to rely on carrier-grade NAT, which requires the purchase of expensive special hardware.

It also happens that network administrators do not even know that the new protocol is already being used in their network. For example, if you look at the headers of mail coming from an Exchange system, you often see mailbox and hub transport servers talking to each other via link local IPv6 addresses (fe80: :), because these addresses are preferred .

The enterprise firewalls of the large manufacturers are almost completely compatible with the new standard. Also the problem, that IPv6 was processed earlier much more slowly, because the hardware was only designed on IPv4, is now no longer. The network processors have now installed that. Special functions like the VPN access for clients were often only IPv4-capable. These gaps are also now closed. The client and server operating systems can have IPv6 anyway for years.

Well planned is half won

For example, a step-by-step introduction no longer presents technical reasons. It is advisable to start the conversion in small steps. For example, in clearly-defined environments, such as the mail system or the VoIP network. Administrators can gain experience in operations before larger and more critical systems are deployed. Possible side effects on the rest of the network are kept within a manageable framework.

One should not make the mistake of pushing the subject ever farther. IPv6 means a fundamental conversion of the network and must be planned in the long term. The employees must be able to adjust to the changes. Planning should now begin to avoid over-rushing (and therefore half-hearted and unsafe) implementations.



Quelle Abb1: Google Statistics

Bild: ©iT-CUBE SYSTEMS AG 2017

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