Department of Defense
High Performance Computing Modernization Program

Deployment or Transition: what's the difference?

The IPv6 knowledge base speaks about the deployment of Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) rather than the transition to IPv6, as does the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication 800-119 Guidelines for the Secure Deployment of IPv6, Dec, 2010:

"Since the majority of organizations will most likely run both IPv6 and IPv4 on their networks for the foreseeable future, this document speaks about the deployment of IPv6 rather than the transition to IPv6."

1. Basic Orientation

These articles and presentations provide a quick survey of some of the many factors to be considered when planning for a deployment of IPv6.

Training is mentioned frequently in the following articles and presentations. The importance of training was a lesson learned in 2010 by a company with over 20 years of experience in providing IPv6 training around the world. The importance of training was re-emphasized by this article in 2018.

Organizations just starting on the path toward a deployment of IPv6 would do well to consider these Golden Rules for IPv6 as offered by Silvia Hagen, Sunny Connection, AG, and Jeff Doyle, Jeff Doyle and Associates Inc., (as summarized by Linda Leung from Jeff’s Cisco Subnet blog in 2007), along with these Top 5 Concerns of Network Admins About Migrating to IPv6

Network operators just starting on the path toward a deployment of IPv6 would do well to consider the guidelines and recommendations provided by Cisco Systems, Inc. in this paper.

Management oriented factors to consider before planning a deployment of IPv6 are provided with increasing levels of detail by these articles:

10 Top Tips for Chief Information Officers Getting Ready for IPv6
12 Steps to Enable IPv6 In An ISP Network
IPv6 Transition Framework for the Enterprise

and these presentations:

Planning for IPv6 in the Real World
IPv6 Deployment Planning
Tactical Challenges of Government IPv6 Deployments

Another management oriented factor to consider is the benefit of applying agile methodology to IPv6 deployment.

Project management factors to consider before planning a deployment of IPv6 are provided with increasing levels of details by these articles:

Successful Strategies for IPv6 (the Introduction is optional on first reading),
Framework for Planning an IPv6 Deployment,
First Steps in IPv6 Adoption – Having a Plan (item 4 below expands on this article),
Enterprise Transition Framework
IPv6 Deployment Guide

and these presentations:

Creating a Practical IPv6 Transition Plan and
Developing an IPv6 Enterprise Pilot Program (video available here).

(If you aren't familiar with project management concepts, this Project Management 101 article reviews the basic concepts and this Getting IPv6 Done article applies the basic concepts to the task of planning an IPv6 deployment.)

2. Further Reading

Don’t try to absorb all the information offered by the articles and presentations below in one viewing — skim through the descriptions, pick a couple that interest you to review now, then come back later and review others. For more detailed information, the IPv6 Training and Learning article under the Deployment section contains extensive references to training courses, printed and on-line reference books and more.

The articles and presentations below discuss management and project management factors involved in planning for an IPv6 deployment. They contain information in varying levels of detail. The first seven sources cover a wide range, from the individual home or small office all the way up to government organizations and large enterprises. The next nine sources are oriented toward medium organizations, government organizations and large enterprises. The last two sources, while oriented toward network operators, also discuss aspects of interest to government organizations and large enterprises. The fifteenth and sixteenth sources are the most technically complete and comprehensive.

  1. The Internet SOCiety (ISOC) Deploy360 Where do I start? web page provides materials for several categories of organizations and network operators planning for an IPv6 deployment
  2. The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) published their Request for Comments (RFC) 4057 IPv6 Enterprise Network Scenarios and RFC 5211 An Internet Transition Plan early in the global deployment of IPv6
  3. Infoblox provides guidance for a multi-year transition to IPv6 targeted at the small business or enterprise in this trio of articles: the IPv4-only phase, the Dual-Stack phase, and the IPv6-only phase, and provides additional guidance in this later article
  4. Another series of articles by Infoblox provides guidance in 6 phases for a deployment of IPv6: Assessment, Training, Planning and Design, Proof of Concept, Deployment and Operate
  5. The Réseaux IP Européens Network Coordination Centre (RIPE NCC) Regional Internet Registry (RIR) provides guidance targeted at small business, network operator, enterprise, and government communities on their Deploy IPv6 Now website
  6. In 2009, the ISOC Argentina Chapter published guidance targeted at the individual, small business, enterprise, academic, and network operator communities just getting started in their IPv6 for All: A Guide for IPv6 Usage and Application paper
  7. This Deploying IPv6 in the Home and Small Office/Home Office (SOHO) article in the Deployment section.
  8. This presentation from the Carnegie-Mellon University (CMU) Software Engineering Institute (SEI) describes their TransPlant methodology for accomplishing technology transitions. The Defense Research and Engineering Network (DREN) followed the TransPlant methodology when planning its deployment of IPv6 as described here
  9. This presentation from ERNW Insinuator describes address strategy, routing, and security strategy
  10. This presentation from Neosixth Technologies describes both an IPv6 deployment process and a case study using the process
  11. In 2011, the Swedish Post and Telecom Agency published their comprehensive Deploying IPv6 – Internet Protocol version 6 Practical Guidance paper
  12. In 2013, the Grand European Academic NeTwork (Géant) published their IPv6 Migration Guide: Best Practice Document
  13. The IETF IPv6 Operations Group (v6ops) in 2014 published their RFC 7381 Enterprise IPv6 Deployment Guidelines, and in 2019 published their RFC 8683 Additional NAT64/464XLAT Deployment Guidelines in Operator and Enterprise Networks
  14. In 2011 and 2012, Cisco Systems, Inc. released three technical white papers describing Campus Network, Branch Network, and Internet Edge deployments describing dual-stack and more complex approaches involving the use of various IPv6 transition mechanisms when deploying IPv6
  15. In December 2010, NIST published a comprehensive Special Publication 800-119 providing Guidelines for the Secure Deployment of IPv6. Sections 6.8 and 6.9 are especially relevant for those just getting started
  16. In June 2017, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) Industry Specification Group for IPv6 Integration (ISG for IP6) published a comprehensive IPv6 Deployment in the Enterprise report. Sections 4.4 and 4.5 are especially relevant for those just getting started
  17. During 2006 to 2011, the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) prepared 4 reports on deploying IPv6 in networks across the world: ATIS IPv6 Report & Recommendation. ATIS IPv6 Task Force Report on IPv6 Transition Challenges, ATIS Readiness Plan for IPv6 Transition, and Information & Communication Technologies (ICT) and IPv6 Readiness
  18. During 2008 to 2009, the 3G Americas trade association (a predecessor of 5G Americas) prepared 2 reports on deploying IPv6 across the wireless networks of the American continents: Transitioning to IPv6 and IPv6 Transition Considerations for LTE and Evolved Packet Core. In 2017, the 5G Americas trade association prepared a third report: LTE to 5G: Cellular and Broadband Innovation.