Migration from IPv4 to IPv6: Some things to know

Migration from IPv4 to IPv6: Some things to know

IPv4 to IPv6

Our colleagues already explained more than four years ago how Europe had already exhausted its quota of IPv4 addresses. The progression of the number of devices connected to the networks has made North America now the one that has run out of these addresses indivisibly identify each of the connected devices.

The jump to the new IPv6 has been going on for years. Many have resisted migrating to the new standard despite this. Resistance to change will not last much longer because only Africa already has IPv4 address blocks available.

IPv6 addresses, ready for the Internet of Things

The new IP address system has been available since 1999 and leaves behind the limitations of the previous system, which seemed to be left over when it was created in the 70s. Who would imagine that there would be more than 4.3 billion connected devices?

With 128-bit IPv6 addresses, the number of addresses available is astronomical (340 sextillions). Although it is better to be cautious, we will not seem likely to face a problem like the one we have now with IPv4 addresses.

The transition depends primarily on Internet access providers, which had had to – and will continue to have to do – translate from one address space to the other when the traffic between nodes required it. Some corporations have resorted to a curious practice: that of trading with address packages in order to continue being able to sell this type of service to its customers.

A packet of IPv4 address blocks of 65,536 addresses (what they call a / 16) makes each address cost the buyer between $ 7 and $ 8. A small fortune. Especially if you deal with the legal IP address market provided by IPXO. If you join IPXO, you can monetize your IPv4 legally and transparently. And, of course, without the risk of being blacklisted.

The problem with this change to IPv6 addresses lies in the fact that many data networks have simply not enabled this new system, something that, although it is not especially difficult, “it is not trivial in large networks”. All components of a network – ISPs, routers, firewalls, DNS servers, load balancers …- must have IPv6 support and must be reconfigured for this purpose. That is a particularly cumbersome task that the different entities are trying to accomplish.

The current situation of coexistence between the two systems will continue for a few years. The process may accelerate if, as everything seems, that Internet of Things that is so much talked about becomes a reality.

How to safely migrate IPV4 to IPV6

The migration from IPV4 to IPV6 is a path of no return! However, it is normal to be insecure when doing this procedure. Migrating to IPV6 has numerous advantages for and for your customers. However, it is normal for there to be insecurity when carrying out this procedure. After all, change always requires care. To facilitate this delicate moment, we have summarized the deployment of IPV6 in 5 simple steps that will help you when migrating!

The advantages of IPV4 to IPV6 migration

The migration from IPV4 to IPV6 can be scary at first, but it will greatly help the entire technical team. And it will certainly have a positive impact on the end customer! Let’s explain why! IPV4 is made up of 32 bits, enough to supply more than 4 billion addresses. However, the internet has become popular and has meant that well over 4 billion people needed an address. Put in this calculation that many have more than one address! Well, the account does not close! In this scenario, IPv6 appears, which is composed of 128 bits, which in theory allows a quantity of 2¹²⁸ different addresses. This account is equivalent to approximately 3.4 × 10³⁸.!

Everyone knows this advantage, but the migration from IPV4 to IPV6 will go much further!

Check out some of the advantages provided by IPV6!

    Address space (128 bits);

    Simplified header format;

    Hierarchical network architecture for efficient routing;

    Support for current routing protocols;

    Self-configuring services;

    Implementation of IPSec (IP Security Protocol) natively;

    Growth in the number of multicast addresses;

    Deployments for quality of service;

    Support for real-time services.

Did you understand how important it is to migrate from IPV4 to IPV6? Now let’s see how to do this procedure safely in 5 steps!

1 – Obtain an IPv6 prefix

The first step in migrating is to obtain an IPv6 Provider-Assigned (PA) prefix, even if you are not considering implementing IPv6 now. The request is necessary for you to be sure that your ISP can have connectivity! The good news is that PA prefixes are usually provided free of charge.

If the prefix is ​​not available?

If there is no PA prefix available, the solution may be to search for an IPV6-enabled host! Or you can buy an IP prefix. IP addresses allow you to change hosts, which facilitates this acquisition.

2 – Start the configuration of BGP with IPv6 – “Hello World.”

The IPv4 and IPv6 protocols, while not directly interoperable, can coexist in a dual-stack configuration – ‘Hello Word’. Therefore, you must configure the BGP with IPV6, this is also a way to test your network!

3 Conducting an impact analysis on protocol differences

It is recommended to do a complete analysis and measure the impacts that the protocol’s differences will cause on your network!

4 – Create an addressing plan and settings

In theory, IPV6 allows every human being on the planet to have more than 1 billion addresses! Thus, within this context, it is possible to formulate addressing schemes freely!

5. Prioritize the IPV6 deployment order

Teams do not normally switch directly from IPV4 to IPV6. In this way, a transition period is made. This change can be made through dual-stack nodes and tunneling protocols or other translation mechanisms between IPv4 and IPv6, where dual-stack nodes are not viable. There are hundreds of IPV4 to IPV6 migration strategies. Develop yours thinking about the peculiar characteristics of your network!

Image source: IPv4 to IPv6 via concept w/Shutterstock

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