Migrating from IPv4 to IPv6 is not an immediate process and requires gradual implementation due to the endless number of users on the Internet that still utilize the IPv4 system. The importance of transitioning to IPv6 is bigger than ever. Additionally, more businesses and organizations are relying on the Internet for day to day processes and therefore a lengthy IP protocol replacement which involves downtime can seriously affect business continuity.
For the above described reasons, the migration from IPv4 to IPv6 is not accomplished with a simple flick of a switch since there are problems that arise as the result of making the change. So, exactly why does the migration have to be gradual and what is the most efficient way to go about the process?
Migrating from IPv4 to IPv6 is a necessary process since most of the IP addresses under the IPv4 protocol are short in supply. IPv6 allows for new availability of unique IP addresses which is necessary due to the increased number of users that are connecting to the Internet.
Migration from IPv4 to IPv6 must be accomplished using special configuration procedures that require a node by node installation. This eliminates the need to manually implement and configure IPv6 hosts which can take a significantly longer amount of time. By implementing the IPv6 protocol in this manner, users of the system can still communicate using IPv4 protocol while the migration to IPv6 is taking place. This results in reduced downtime and ensures business continuity and productivity.
When you implement a migratory strategy for the eventual change to IPv6 there are primary goals and objectives which must be considered for the migration to be successful each step of the way. First, as the change takes place IPv6 protocols involve migration for routers, IT infrastructure, workstations, and PCs which are connected to the network.
Second, a progressive plan must be put in place to ensure that IPv6 hosts and routers are distributed over an Internet connection in an incremental fashion without any interdependence on one another. Additionally, there should be a set of policies which include management criteria which simplifies the migration from IPv4 to IPv6.
Third, it is necessary to deploy the proper infrastructure that fosters a simple Internet transition. This includes structuring the IPv6 addresses to allow for smooth transition from IPv4 addresses. You also need to implement IPv4 and IPv6 stacks on the hosts and routers simultaneously to support the transition.
Tunneling plays a significant role in the migration from IPv4 to IPv6. While the infrastructure for IPv6 is being set up the routing process will still be configured to IPv4. Specific tunneling techniques must be deployed to ensure that the IPv4 networks acquire the capability to handle IPv4 to IPv6 traffic while the migration is taking place. There are many different techniques which are used for tunneling however here is a common example of how tunneling works: Host 1 sends an original IPv6 information packet to router A. Router A then transfers the information packet through an IPv4 tunnel to router B which in turn transfers the information as an original IPv6 packet to host 2. As a result of this process the tunnel is managed by router A and router B.
There is a lot involved in terms of migration from IPv4 to IPv6 from the IT perspective. However, this information should provide you with a general overview of some of the considerations and techniques which are used during the migration process of IPv4 to IPv6
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