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Why does getting IP addresses matter?

Ask yourself how relevant getting any more addresses is to the various types of services your company provides. If your organization already has all the IP addresses it will need in the next 10 years then aside from competitive issues (your competitors supporting IPv6 and saying you don't support IPv6), you may be able to ignore this document.

  • Do you assign address space to customers?

  • Do you expect to deploy a significant number of servers in the future that need to be reachable from the Internet at large?

  • Do you sell a service, software, or hardware which requires customers to be able to get unique globally routable address space?

IPv6 provides a solution that provides the ability to get globally routable addresses in the future after the IPv4 address pool is exhausted.

If you depend on your ISP to take care of this for you, then make sure they either already provide native IPv6 or have an IPv6 plan.

Network service providers, such as Hurricane Electric, should be the first to deploy so that network users can get native IPv6 and begin the task of learning, experimenting, and testing well in advance of their need to provide production services.

Is IPv6 connectivity the same as IPv4 connectivity?

Not today, and potentially not for many years. IPv6 has a varied rate of deployment by various organizations, this means some backbones have it deployed natively in their core everywhere (like Hurricane Electric), some have it deployed on a limited number of routers as a "tunnel net", and some have not deployed it at all.

Because IPv6 deployment is different than IPv4, the backbone network topology and the connections between IPv6 backbones is different than IPv4. Any specific path via IPv6 may be faster than IPv4 (a more direct route), the same as IPv4, or in some cases slower than IPv4. This should be *expected*. Because IPv6 is still in early deployment stages, there are less servers running IPv6 than IPv4, and most of the IPv6 servers are pilot deployments running a subset of services. This also should be *expected*.

Hurricane Electric strives to provide every customer a seamless approach to IPv6. If you’re a transit customer, a colocation customer or a web hosting customer, Hurricane Electric want to provide you with both IPv6 and IPv4 services. Both IPv6 and IPv4 services on the same pipe. Both services managed by an engineering group and 24-by-7-by-365 NOC that’s accustomed to providing IPv6 and IPv4 support. IPv6 is not a “special” within the Hurricane Electric network!

I'm from a large organization; projections are all well and good, give me some official dates.

Projecting into the future is a hard task; however Hurricane Electric has picked some important documents and research that shows that IPv4 address space exhaustion is inevitable and even if it wasn’t, the value of migrating to an IPv6 world is overwhelming. As a network manager it’s unacceptable to wait until there is no more time. Prior-planning is a core-concept within network design and when it comes to network deployment, being ready for future needs is part of every job description.

Hurricane Electric’s job is to enable every customer, from CEO and CIO to network engineer with the information required to play and deploy an IPv6 network well within the time needed to transition. Read on to see how others define the timelines that companies should be operating with.

IPv6 at Hurricane Electric © 2008

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April 2008

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