IPv6 Best Current Practices


Just as IPv4 network operations have evolved to their current states by identifying and implementing various Best Current Practices (BCP), IPv6 network operations are also evolving. Network operators around the world are constantly finding better ways to manage IPv6 deployment through their operational experiences, and from the shared experiences of others. This page provides the latest information on BCPs that are currently discussed and applied among technical stakeholders to support IPv6 deployment in your networks.

IPv6 addressing

Establishing a practical and scalable plan for deploying IPv6 addressing on an operational network is an important part of any IPv6 deployment. Advice on address planning is one of the most commonly asked questions at APNIC. An IPv6 address is 128 bits long – four times longer than the 32-bit IPv4 addresses. Address planning for such a large space might seem counter-intuitive for many network operators. What are the best current practices for IPv6 addressing for scalable and manageable network operations?

Presentation/Document

LinksSummary
IPv6 addressing planning, Dr Phillip Smith, APNIC, August 2012Video

Slides

This presentation covers IPv6 address planning for infrastructure and customer links, gives an example of a deployable address plan, and some useful addressing tools.

Preparing an IPv6 Addressing Plan, SurfNet (translated by the RIPE NCC), March 2011Document

Implementing an efficient and logical IPv6 addressing plan in your subnets provides several advantages for operators. This presentation describes how to achieve efficient IPv6 addressing.

IETF RFC6177: IPv6 Address Assignment to End Sites, March 2011IPv6 Address Assignment to End SitesRFC3177 argued that end sites should be assigned /48 IPv6 address blocks in most cases. This document obsoletes RFC3177 and clarifies that a one-size-fits-all recommendation of /48 is not appropriate for all end sites and is no longer recommended as a single default.

IPv6 transition technologies

We have seen many transition technologies available with varying types of mechanisms and required network equipment. Namely, 4in6, 6in4, DS-Lite, 6RD, 6to4, ISATAP, NAT64, Teredo, NAT-PT, and the most recently developed technology is MAP. Through their respective revision processes, we can see some of these are more widely used, some have converged, and some have become obsolete.

While the field of IPv6 transition technology is still evolving, operators need to carefully consider which mechanism is most suitable to their networks. Native IPv6 is preferred, but many operators will need to deploy in steps, by using one or more transition mechanisms, to align with long-term network planning. To help you stay up to date with what's available, here is some information shared by network operators and vendors.

Presentation/Document

Links

Summary

IPv4 & IPv6 co-existence, Dr Philip Smith, APNIC, August 2012Slides

How can Service Providers face IPv4 address exhaustion? Deploying CGN/LSN only prolongs IPv4 availability by using private IPv4 address space. All Service Provider networks need to deploy IPv6. This presentation gives an overview and comparison of several transition technologies.

IPv6 Transition Technologies, Alastair Johnson, Alcatel Lucent, November 2012Slides

This presentation covers the most widely used IPv6 transition technologies, Native Dual Stack, DS-Lite, NAT64, and 6RD. The most recently developed technology is MAP (Mapping Address and Port).

IPv6 guidelines for content, data centre, hosting, cloud service, and application service providers

This group of Internet stakeholders needs to focus on how to enable IPv6 access to their content, and the implications of IPv6 deployment for their Internet connectivity, web servers, load balancers, and firewalls. It's also necessary to consider other modifications as required including backbone databases, setting an IPv6 log file, and geolocation database.

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) provides guidelines, or Internet-Drafts documents. The drafts are working documents, valid for a maximum of six months, and they may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any time. Please be aware of the limited effect of Internet-Drafts.

Presentation/DocumentLinksSummary
IETF Internet-Drafts: IPv6 Guidelines forInternet Content and Application Services Providers, Jan 2013 (Expires 15 July 2013)
draft-ietf-v6ops-icp-guidance-05
This document provides guidance and suggestions for Internet Content Providers and Application Service Providers who wish to offer their services to both IPv6 and IPv4 customers. Many of the points will also apply to hosting providers, or to any enterprise network preparing for IPv6 users.

IPv6 guidelines for enterprises

Enterprises need to focus on their IT infrastructure, in terms of enabling IPv6 in their WiFi, Ethernet, LAN, and WAN. They also need to enable Dual Stack for devices such as laptops, printers, PCs, and file servers. Another aspect to consider is how to replicate IPv6 addressing infrastructure with IPv6 address management, firewalls, and security.

The IETF provides guidelines, or Internet-Drafts documents. The drafts are working documents, valid for a maximum of six months, and they may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any time. Please be aware of the limited effect of Internet-Drafts.

Presentation/DocumentLinksSummary
IETF Internet-Drafts: Enterprise IPv6 Deployment Guidelines, Sept 2012 (Expires 19 March 2013)
draft-ietf-v6ops-enterprise-incremental-ipv6-01
Enterprise network administrators face different challenges and priorities than operators of Internet access providers, or content providers. The overall transition for enterprise networks will be most likely from IPv4-only to a Dual Stack network environment, and potentially an IPv6-only operating mode. This document provides a framework for IPv6 transition for enterprise network architects or administrators.