When implementing IPv6, what are the different stages? Is there a step-by-step process that you should follow?
It's necessary to put together a detailed plan of action in order to drive and execute a successful IPv6 implementation strategy. I consider there to be five phases in this transition process. It all starts with the discovery phase -- this is when you evaluate your understanding of IPv6, your current protocol status and what you want to accomplish.
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After this is done, you get into the strategy portion. You must take a look at the architectures you want to pursue for your next-generation environments and determine how they fit into the context of IPv6. This way you can access the readiness of your environment in relation to the new protocol.
This is followed by the planning and assessment stages. This is when you actually plan out your deployment. Finally, you arrive at the implementation phase. You have two choices: You can attempt to implement IPv6 overnight at a very high cost, or you can implement it over a longer period of time. IPv6 is going to be a challenge because there is a knowledge gap with regard to IT staff and new technologies that continuously appear on the scene, making it more practical to take your time with the implementation.
It's vital that you conduct various trials throughout this process as well. The structure and complexity of your trials can be further refined as you go along. A very simple lab will allow you to evaluate various aspects of the protocol. It will also allow you to evaluate particular limitations of the protocol stack. Eventually you will work your way toward implementation trials, where you start to evaluate solutions at the system level and at a really high scale.
Throughout this progression, keep in mind there are limitations in terms of how big your test bed can be. Attempting to replicate and scale all the equipment to match an actual environment is not a realistic goal.
Editor's note: With permission of the presenter, this expert answer was excerpted from a recorded presentation given by Popoviciu in 2011 at gogoNET LIVE!, an IPv6-centric conference sponsored by gogo6. View the full presentation here.
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