November 19, 2010

IPv6 / IPv4 Dual Stack Networks

The evolution of the Internet to IPv6 will directly affect enterprise customers because they will have to communicate with their customers, partners, and suppliers over an IPv6 network.

In order to ensure business continuity and future growth, all organizations need to carefully plan for coexistence between IPv4 and IPv6. Also, as IPv6 propagates, early adopters can deliver innovative platforms, applications, and services that take advantage of the technical possibilities of IPv6.

A combination of both native IPv4 and IPv6, better known as dual stack, is the recommended coexistence strategy for enterprise networks.

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One of the most significant underlying issues for the coming years is the transition from IPv4 to IPv6. Ultimately, we'll need IPv6. But the transition is going to be a "challenge," to say the least.

So even though we'll move to IPv6 eventually, there will be a long time - perhaps as long as ten years - that IPv4 and IPv6 will coexist.

This is a great, extremely concise overview of using a "dual stack" strategy to support both IPv4 and IPv6.

If, as Steven says, this paper is "great" then we will probably never get there. It in essence says little except that Cisco has products to sell and professional services to offer. That is not much guidance. Questions like "where do addresses come from?" and "how do I plan this?" are among those that aren't hinted at. In his intro Steven promises that "early adopters" can "take advantage of the technical possibilities of IPv6." OK, Steven -- what are those possibilities? There are scenarios of pain for those that wait to long to jump, but none of those are in the paper.


I am not clear with how CISCO is maintaining the dual stack. I mean, is the devices is running with IPv6 over IPv4 (RFC 2529) or the other way round or both. If it is some other implementation then how it is done? Also what are the overheads for implementing the same, I mean, if there is additional column for noting the nature of the next interface, these things are not coming directly from the document. Overall, I would say that the paper is a good overview.

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