Tim Rooney

Looking into the future of the internet – what will IPv6 hold?

By Tim Rooney, Director, Project Management Team at BT Diamond IP

Any scepticism surrounding the exponential growth predictions for IPv6 can be dismissed thanks to new data. Google statistics now show that the number of IPv6 users accessing its websites has now exceeded four per cent of total users, up from three per cent in February 2014. And this growth is expected to continue to reach between 9.9 and 14.9 per cent by the end of 2015.

With Google well known as the web’s favourite, this data gives a hint of trends that are happening all over the internet, offering insight into the future rise of IPv6 more broadly. With this interesting information available, I have used the data to create a projection that predicts the further growth of IPv6. [Read more…]


IPv6 block allocation made easy

By Tim Rooney, Director, Project Management Team at BT Diamond IP

Developing an IPv6 address plan can seem like nothing more than a massive headache. Such a plan defines how you intend to allocate subnets from the IPv6 block you received from your ISP or Internet Registry — it’s important stuff. It’s the kind of thing you need to ensure is done correctly.

The first step is defining how much address space is required across your IP network to give you an idea of IPv6 address capacity for those devices requiring it. You can use your current IPv4 address allocation database as a guide to define the active utilisation of your IPv4 address space and should provide a solid basis for IPv6 capacity needs, barring new network initiatives that increase address space usage. Once you’ve defined where in your network you require IPv6 addresses and how much is needed, you need to then consider how to perform your allocations. [Read more…]

Tim Rooney

Twelve checklist items for deploying IPv6

Deploying IPv6 requires thorough consideration of your networking environment. As you can imagine, introducing a new network layer protocol has wide-ranging impacts. For example, if you constrain the initial scope of your deployment to your internet-facing infrastructure, you can better control the effort and expense required to deploy IPv6. You can also gain valuable IPv6 experience prior to a broader deployment involving your end-user community and associated impacts.

But for whatever scope you choose to define your IPv6 deployment, the following 12 points need to be examined and analysed to determine your readiness and potential upgrade requirements prior to implementation:

  1. IP infrastructure. Every major switch and router vendor has included IPv6 support for a few years now. As long as you’ve kept reasonably up-to-date with product releases, your switching and routing infrastructure should already support IPv6. It’s a good idea to validate this with your vendors, especially if you are relying on particular IPv6 features, e.g. mobile IPv6, etc. [Read more…]
Tim Rooney

Still on the fence regarding IPv6 deployment?

The Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) rollout appears to be moving slowly. A recent Internet Society announcement that IPv6 users have reached two per cent of total internet traffic (as measured by hits on Google’s web servers) seems to corroborate this perception. While a two per cent penetration represents a doubling of IPv6 traffic since last year, the total is, as yet, unimpressive.

Of course, deploying IPv6 is not a trivial undertaking. Whilst recent vintage networking equipment natively supports IPv6, operational aspects require careful attention. Organisations must be able to provide, monitor, troubleshoot, secure and manage their networks. IPv6 adds an entirely new dimension to current network management systems and procedures designed for managing an IPv4 network. At a basic level, this evolution to managing a dual protocol IPv4-IPv6 network first requires assessment of current systems’ capabilities, identification of mitigation steps required, planning for training of IT, networking and assisting desk staff, tabulation of a resource budget to perform such mitigation and training, and then planning and executing the IPv6 rollout. [Read more…]


We Need a “Demand Side” World IPv6 Launch

I was chatting recently with Michael Vincent, an IPv6 savvy colleague, about worldwide IPv6 adoption, which despite the considerable press around World IPv6 Launch, is progressing at a snail’s pace. We lamented that while World IPv6 Launch provided great publicity around IPv4 exhaustion and the need for IPv6, the focus of IPv6 launch was on IPv6 deployment for the Internet supply side, i.e., websites. It’s absolutely wonderful that so many organizations have enabled IPv6 on their websites, but where are the IPv6 users, or the demand side

As IPv4 addresses dwindle in supply, service providers will ultimately need to begin assigning IPv6 addresses to their mobile and broadband subscribers. Nevertheless despite a growing number of IPv6 Internet users, these users will expect and demand ubiquitous Internet access, which requires connectivity to IPv6 and IPv4 websites. Therefore, each service provider will need to accommodate this customer requirement by either assigning both an IPv6 and an IPv4 address in a dual stack configuration, at least until IPv4 addresses run out, or by deploying address translators within their networks to convert IPv6 packets into IPv4 packets to reach IPv4 destinations. [Read more…]