Further proof of the rise of IPv6 and the decline of IPv4 appeared yesterday with an announcement from the Internet Architecture Board (IAB) that IPv4 is to be declared historic by the IETF. The IAB expects the IETF to stop working on IPv4 and its associated protocols in the near future. Therefore, the IAB recommends that all organisations work to develop an IPv6-only strategy.
This follows closely on a recent draft RFC that moves IPv4 to historic status (draft-howard-sunset4-v4historic-00). Protocols that are moved to historic status are no longer developed by the IETF. This includes all protocols that are IPv4 specific.
These moves reflect the decline of the IPv4 internet and the growing deployment of IPv6. The exhaustion of the IPv4 address pool is severely restricting growth in the IPv4 internet. In addition, it has lead to the widespread adoption of address conservation techniques such as Carrier Grade NAT (CGN) and address transfers that have a negative impact on the function and operation of the internet.
All of these factors make it imperative that organisations look to deploy IPv6. The most common mode of deploying IPv6 is dual-stack. In a dual-stack deployment, IPv6 is usually added to an existing IPv4 network. This has many advantages and often eases the deployment of IPv6 into existing network infrastructure. However, dual-stack networks have some significant disadvantages. Deploying two protocols in a network more than doubles the complexity, increasing the resources required to operate, administer and secure the network. An alternative approach is to deploy an IPv6-only network. In an IPv6-only network, there is only one protocol (IPv6) to support, administer and secure. Furthermore, an IPv6-only network has none of the disadvantages of an IPv4 network, such as limited address space, NAT and CGN.
Support for legacy IPv4 services can still be provided in an IPv6-only network through the use of transition techniques such as NAT64/DNS64, NAT46, SIIT-DC, DS-Lite and 464XLAT.
So, now is the time to deploy IPv6 and to plan for a migration to an IPv6-only network. At Erion we have worked with many organisations to develop their IPv6 deployment strategies and to help them deploy IPv6-only networks today.
Erion has over eighteen years experience of providing IPv6 consultancy and IPv6 training services. We have extensive experience of helping a wide range of types of organisations plan for and deploy IPv6. Please contact us for further details.