Deployment Guideline

 

Small and Medium Enterprises

Many small businesses operate their own networks, either for customer use or for internal operations. The extent to which your network needs to be upgraded will depend on your specific setup. To ensure that your business is not adversely affected, you should start by making sure you have answers to these questions:

  • Are you and your IT staff aware of IPv6?
  • Is your Internet Service Provider ready to provide IPv6 connectivity?
  • Is your own network equipment IPv6 compatible, and if not, what steps are necessary to make it IPv6 compatible?
  • Have you considered IPv6-readiness in your technology upgrade cycle?

Based on the answers to these questions, you will be able to plan the steps you need to take to ensure that IPv6 adoption doesn’t see your business left behind. The following checklist is a rough guide to how you may wish to proceed:

  • Appoint a project manager
  • Talk to your Internet Service Provider
  • Identify the network components that will need to be changed or upgraded
  • Identify the training needs for team and project manager
  • Determine costs of new hardware and software
  • Select suppliers (possibly the same as you have today) and consultants
  • Draft a project plan and start implementation

To keep your business connected now and in the future, you need to ensure that the technologies you use are compatible with the IPv6. Basic steps include:

  • Check that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) can fill your IPv6 requirements
  • Organize IPv6 connectivity and address space
  • Carry out a hardware and software audit to determine the compatibility of existing technologies with IPv6
  • Configure your routers, other hardware, operating systems and applications before IPv4 addresses run out
  • Train staff to deploy and manage IPv6
  • Rewrite any of your own applications that store IP addresses to be IPv6 compatible

ISP

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) play a key role in the global adoption of IPv6. For End User organisations, the question of whether their ISP can provide IPv6 services is one of the most significant factors in deciding whether or not to commit resources to their own IPv6 deployment.

For an ISP, IPv6 deployment is even more important to projecting an image as a market leader than for other industries. As IPv6 deployment progresses, those ISPs who have not invested in adopting IPv6 in their networks may find attracting new customers difficult, and may begin to lose existing customers who wish to proceed with their own IPv6 deployment. 

Government

High-speed Internet broadband is quickly becoming commonplace worldwide and many national governments have recently pledged to improve the reach of next-generation broadband networks.

Government organisations are influential forces for Internet growth. Leading by example, they play an important part in supporting the deployment of IPv6. Where governments encourage a landscape for sustainable Internet development, the private sector will follow.

Access and Availability for All

The public relies on government organisations for a huge range of information and services on everything from healthcare and education to taxes and employment. The majority of this information is now available online, enabling local and national governments to meet the public’s needs more efficiently.

It’s crucial for any government organisation that the services it provides can be accessed by everyone. It won’t be long before most governments will have swapped paper based processes to online forms and services, and, for example, filing taxes via a website becomes the norm. When this day comes, it’s paramount that government web services are compatible with IPv6 to accommodate those members of the public who will have adopted the new Internet addressing protocol.

If government organisations fail to make their services accessible via IPv6, many members of the public may be unable to access vital public services as their computer won’t be able to connect with the government’s IPv4-only network.

What Should I Do Now?

Government organisations cannot act alone on IPv6. They need to work together with the technical community and the private sector. They need to use the power they hold as major procurers of technology and push vendors to develop IPv6 compatible hardware and software.

Additionally, government organisations need to adopt an active role in the policy making processes that impact on the infrastructure of the Internet.

By working together in a concerted effort with commercial organisations and the Internet community to drive adoption of IPv6, we can ensure that everyone will be able to benefit from the growth of the digital economy now and beyond 2015.

Practical Deployment

As a first step, government organisations need to ensure that their own web-based services can be accessed via IPv6. Deploying IPv6 is like managing any other IT project. This simple checklist should help to get you started:

  • Appoint a project manager
  • Talk to your Internet Service Provider
  • Identify the network components that will need to be changed or upgraded
  • Identify the training needs for team and project manager
  • Determine costs of new hardware and software
  • Identify approved vendors and consultants to carry out the deployment
  • Develop a project plan
  • Present costs to the decision maker
  • Once you have appointed a project manager, they will need to consider:
  • Talking to your Internet Service Provider
  • Physical technology
  • Software compatibility
  • Training

Talking to Your ISP

Most businesses, and many government departments, rely on an Internet Service Provider (ISP) for their connection to the Internet. Your own network’s IPv6 requirements and deployment schedule will be contingent upon your upstream provider’s IPv6 deployment, so it is important that you understand what your ISP can provide and when. Some questions that you might ask your service provider:

  • Do you currently provide IPv6 connectivity?
  • If not, when do you plan to deploy IPv6 on your customer networks? What is your deployment timeline?
  • When will our website be available over IPv6?
  • Do you provide customers with IPv6-compatible modems, or other devices necessary for connecting over IPv6?
  • Why have you not provided information for your customers on IPv6 and the requirements from our side to be ready?

Physical Technology

When upgrading your networks, it is essential to ensure that your equipment is compatible with the next generation of IP addressing. The first step is to carry out an IT audit to identify which pieces of equipment (routers, servers and other hardware) need upgrading or even replacing.

Your hardware vendor(s) should be able to help you with this process, and advise you on how to make the necessary changes. It may require a significant amount of time and effort to convert all elements of your IT infrastructure, so you may want to consider a staged deployment.

Software Compatibility

In order for your entire network to be IPv6 ready you need to ensure that all hardware and software is dual stacked (running IPv4 and IPv6). If you have purchased software from a third party you’ll need to get in touch with the provider to check if the product is already IPv6 compatible or if there’s an upgrade available. A great deal of software already on the market (including many computer operating systems, though not Windows XP) is IPv6-ready by default

 

If no IPv6 upgrade is available, you’ll need to look for an alternative software source. Any software that you have developed in house may have to be rewritten.

 

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