Global IPv6 strategies

If you want to understand the buzz raised recently about IP version 6, and your daily job includes more budget meetings, payroll discussions or strategy/operational planning than router configuration, Global IPv6 Strategies: From Business Analysis to Operational Planning (Cisco Press, 2008) is a mandatory book for you. The authors, Patrick Grossetete, Ciprian P. Popoviciu and Fred Wettling, are weathered veterans of the IPv6 battles, and their lengthy experience with IPv6 shines through the pages of this book.

The first three chapters deal with the economic background of the Internet, IPv6 myths and realities, and the economic reasons why someone would want to migrate to IPv6. You might find these chapters a bit long-winded; I was persuaded after a few pages and had to delve through roughly 80 more to get to the more interesting topics. However, these chapters reflect the authors’ past experiences with people who are still in denial about the need for IPv6, and I’m positive that you’ll eventually find an answer to every issue your boss or coworker will raise when you try to persuade them that it’s time to start IPv6 preparation in your network.

The core of the book is Chapters 4 and 5, which describe various IPv6 adoption strategies and business cases. As I suspected, the majority of the IPv6 early adopters came from the service provider world, as these networks have had to cope with dramatic increases in the numbers of residential end users. The book lists a number of enterprise case studies, but only one of them (Bechtel Corporation) is what I would consider a typical enterprise network. The others are an educational network in Greece, Cisco Systems, Arch Rock (a startup manufacturing wireless sensors) and Command Information (a professional services organization working for the U.S. government). Very likely, the corporate networks will encounter IPv6 initially in their DMZ subnet when the adoption of IPv6 by their customers forces them to deploy dual-stack solutions on public servers.

Chapter 6, which concludes the book, contains step-by-step recommendations for IPv6 migration planning, from objectives definition phase through needs and equipment assessments to training and deployment issues. In this chapter, you’ll likely find information that will help you to make a seamless transition to IPv6.

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