Recommended Reading: Google pitches IPv6 transition strategies

Google sysadmin and network engineer Thomas Limoncelli recently penned an illuminating paper on ‘Successful Strategies for IPv6 Rollouts’. The paper, introduced by TCP-IP co-inventor and Internet luminary Vint Cerf, outlines practical steps that can be taken for an effective IPv6 transition.

Cerf begins by wryly commenting on his choice of the 32-bit IPv4 address space. “I thought 4.3 billion potential addresses would be adequate for conducting the experiments to prove the technology. If it worked, then we could go back and design the production version. Of course, it is now 2011, and the experiment never exactly ended.”

Limoncelli notes that “The biggest decision for many organizations is simply knowing where to begin”. He précis three strategies being used by organisations that are transitioning to IPv6. Those that work, he says, tend to be those that focus on specific applications or Web sites.

In addition, he sketches out a number of “lessons” that Google has learned. Chief among these are avoiding proposals to convert everything to IPv6. These “sound crazy and get rejected”. He also encourages organisations to “work from the outside in” and “propose high-value reasons” to use IPv6.

“[This] is most likely to get management approval. There are no simple solutions, but there are simple explanations. Convert that ‘one thing’ and keep repeating the value statement that got the project approved, so everyone understands why you are doing this. Your success here will lead the way to other projects.”

Finally, Limoncelli issues a word of warning to those who, for years, have been ignoring IPv6. “For a long time IPv6 was safe to ignore as a ‘future requirement’. Now that IPv4 address space is depleted, it is time to take this issue seriously. Yes, really.”

To read the paper visit:

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