(Note: If you are just starting to think about deploying Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) or are still in the pre-planning phases of an IPv6 deployment, please review the Before you Begin article in the Deployment section. This will help you better understand the information provided below.)

This Overview of Lessons Learned article contains five major topics:

  1. Lessons learned by Organizations from countries around the world,
  2. Defense Research and Engineering Network (DREN) IPv6 Pilot lessons learned summaries
  3. DREN IPv6 Pilot lessons learned details,
  4. Recipients of DREN IPv6 Pilot lessons learned, and
  5. Lessons learned from protocol transitions prior to IPv4.

While not limited to the topic of deploying IPv6, the article 8 Lessons from 20 Years of Hype Cycles provides lessons that are relevant to the topic of deploying IPv6. Through repeated successful reuse, lessons learned become recognized as best practices that are known to produce good outcomes when followed. Some best practices are described in documents listed in the United States (US) IPv6 and IoT Policy, Guidance and Best Practices and Non-United States IPv6 and IoT Policy, Guidance and Best Practices articles in the General Information section. Additional best practices with an emphasis on security are described in documents in the IPv6 and IoT Security Best Practices article in the Security section.

1. Lessons learned by Organizations. 

No attempt has been made to extract lessons learned by organizations that have deployed IPv6. Instead, references to original presentations, papers, studies, publications, and articles are referenced so that the lessons learned can be understood in context.

Materials referenced in this topic come from a wide variety of sources, including conference presentations, research papers, industry studies, commercial provider publications, and news media. These materials are grouped into ten subtopics:

  1. United States (US) Department of Defense (DoD) Organizations
  2. Other US Federal Government Organizations
  3. Networking Equipment Manufacturers, Services, and Customers
  4. IPv6 Internet Service Providers (ISPs)
  5. Academic Community
  6. Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) and Software Development Organizations (SWDOs)
  7. Non-commercial Organizations
  8. European and Asian IPv6 Communities
  9. Caribbean and Latin American Communities
  10. Australian IPv6 Community
  11. The Small Office/Home Office (SOHO)

Note: The majority of the transitions referenced in this topic were from an IPv4 (only) networking infrastructure to a dual-stack (both IPv6 and IPv4) networking infrastructure. However, a few transitions listed in subtopics 3 through 6 and subtopic 10 describe an IPv4 (only) networking infrastructure transition to an IPv6 (only) networking infrastructure.

Reports produced by the Offices of the Inspector Generals (OIG) or Government Accountability Offices (GAO) for various US government organizations referenced in the IPv6 and IoT Policy, Guidance and Best Practices article in the General Information section also sometimes provide lessons learned. The IPv6 Network Testing Results article in the Testing section provides some lessons learned while testing IPv6 networks. The SDN Lessons Learned, Training, and Testing article in the SDN Knowledge Base section provides some lessons learned while deploying Cloud Computing using IPv6-enabled Software Defined Networking virtualization technology.

1.1 US DoD Organizations. 

Source Date Title

Air Force Network Integration Center

 2012 How the Air Force is Flying Toward IPv6



IPv6: The Air Force Perspective

Applied Research Associates, Inc.


IPv6 Testbed Final Report



IPv6 Critical Success Factors



Lessons Learned and Keys to Success

Defense Threat Reduction Agency


IPv6 Update and Challenges For a DoD Enterprise Network

United States Naval Academy (USNA) 2008 Lessons Learned in Transitioning from IPv4 to IPv6


1.2 Other US Federal Government Organizations.

Source Date Title
 Department of Commerce (DoC)  2006  Technical and Economic Assessment of Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6)

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)


EPA Committed to Finding a Workaround for Every IPv6 Challenge

Federal Aviation Agency (FAA)


IPv6 Project Status and Lessons Learned

Federal IPv6 (Fedv6) Task Force


on-going series of Face to Face (F2F) meetings (registration required)

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)


Government Empowering and Embracing the Kickoff of IPv6 (G.E.E.K.V.6) Invitation



G.E.E.K.V.6 Day (slides 41-117)



Managing the IPv6 Implementation Effort

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)


IPv6 Case Study

Office of Government Ethics 2016 OGE – IPv6 Deployment (Authentication Required)

Sandia National Laboratories (SNL)


Impacts of IPv6 on Infrastructure Control Systems



IPv6 deployment experiences at Sandia National Laboratories


1.3 Networking Equipment Manufacturers, Services, and Customers.

Source Date Title



Planning and Accomplishing the IPv6 Integration:  Lessons Learned



Well Positioned to Serve Customers by Using Microsoft and Cisco IPv6 Solution

Check Point Software Technologies, Ltd.


World IPv6 Day Experience

Cisco Systems, Inc.


How Cisco IT Is Implementing IPv6



Cisco IT – Building an IPv6 Only Network

   2018 Journey to a pure IPv6 Campus
 Clearcable Connects 2018 IPv6 Addressing Plan Design for Service Providers
 Dropbox  2017 Deploying IPv6 in Dropbox Edge Network



The Road to IPv6 (Bumpy)

  2015 IPv6: It’s time to get on board
  2016 Networking @ Scale, May, 2016 – Recap (scroll down to Day 2 to view a presentation by Comcast, 4 by Facebook, and another by Akamai)
  2017 Legacy support on IPv6-only infrastructure



IPv6 Deployment at Google



Deploying IPv6 in the Google Enterprise Network.  Lessons learned.



Google Enterprise IPv6 deployment

Infoblox 2019 On The Road to IPv6-Only: From Dual-Stack to DNS64/NAT64 and Beyond
  2021 Lessons Learned and Recommendations From IPv6-only Deployments Part 1 (of 2)
    Lessons Learned and Recommendations From IPv6-only Deployments Part 2 (of 2)
 International Business Machines (IBM) 2019 Deploying IPv6 at IBM



IPv6-only at LinkedIn Part I: Chippin' away at IPv4



IPv6-only at LinkedIn Part II: Back to the Future



IPv6-only at LinkedIn Part III: The Elephant in the Room

  2018 IPv6 Deployment Evolution and IPv6-Only Networks
Meta Platforms, Inc. (formerly Facebook, Inc.) 2016 Networking @ Scale (annual conference beginning in 2016, including presentations by Akamai, Comcast, Facebook, and others)



How Microsoft IT has Deployed IPv6 on the Microsoft Corpnet



Putting IPv6 to Work

  2017 IPv6 Only at Microsoft


Microsoft Pulls Plug on IPv6-only Wi-Fi

  2019  Microsoft Works Toward IPv6-Only Single Stack Network
     Microsoft IT: Ongoing Journey to IPv6-only (video available here)



Enabling Support for IPv6



Lessons Learned from an Enterprise IPv6 Deployment



Enterprise IPv6 – Going Beyond the Edge



Enterprise IPv6, Affecting Positive Change

 Patton LLC 2019 Demand for IPv6 Warrants Development Efforts
 QA Cafe 2020 Lessons Learned Testing IPv6 Transition Mechanisms for IPv6 Only
 SolarNetOne 2019 Testament to the Adaptability of the Internet
 Uber Engineering 2017 Adopting the Next-Gen Internet Protocol: Deploying IPv6 for Uber Engineering (Hover arrow above title of figures 1-4 and click when pointer appears to display the figure)

 Wells Fargo Bank


Wells Fargo and IPv6

  2019  Notes From a Large Enterprise on IPv6 Adoption


1.4 Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

Source Date Title

6Connect, Inc. (a software supplier for ISPs)


IPv6 from an ISPs perspective



State/Lessons/Still To Come

American Data Technology, Inc.


Three Key Standpoints in Implementing IPv6

 AXTEL Internet Service Provider (ISP) 2014 IPv6 Case Study: Deployment Recommendations and Lessons Learned
 Broadband Forum 2016 MR-276 Lessons Learned from IPv4 to IPv6 Migration and Guidance for Future Deployment
 Burlington Telecom 2018 Lack of Hardware Support Is a Serious IPv6 Holdup for Small ISPs
 C & W Communications 2018 Enabling Internet Access Services over IPv6 in the Caribbean

CenturyLink Business, Inc. (renamed Lumen Technologies, LLC, in 2020), formerly Qwest Government Services, Inc.)


IPv6 Implementation Lessons Learned and Motivation

Comcast Corp. 2014 Implementing IPv6 in Comcast’s Voice Network
  2015 Approaches for IPv4 as a Service



IPv6 @ Comcast

Commercial Network Services 2018 Dual Stack and Paint by Numbers
Communicate Freely 2018 A Beautiful Way to Run the Network
Cox Communications, Inc. 2017 Making IPv6 Work For You
GlowHost, LLC 2018 Setting Customers up for Success with IPv6
 Mythic Beasts Ltd 2020 How we make IPv6-only hosting a reality
 NetCologne GMBH via Réseaux IP Européens (RIPE) 2022 One Bit to the Left - An IPv6 Success Story

NextGen Networks Corporation


Customer IPv6 Delivery: The NextGen Experience

 North American Network Operators Group (NANOG) 2020   Lessons Learned Testing IPv6 Transition Mechanisms for IPv6-only (video available here, blog available here)

NTT America, Inc.


IPv6 Deployment & Commercial Applications

  2019 Tier 1 Providers Must Offer IPv6

Hurricane Electric


Going Native: A backbone transition to extensive native IPv6 peering

Sprint Corp. (now T-Mobile US Inc.) 2020 Running the Gamut: Legacy Sprint’s Journey Through IPv6 Transition Mechanisms
TELUS Communications 2019 Practical Steps to Accelerate IPv6 Adoption
T-Mobile US Inc. 2013 T-Mobile USA IPv6 Deployment (IPv6-only Mobile Perspective)



464XLAT: Breaking Free of IPv4 (Going IPv6-only at T-Mobile) (video available here)

  2017 T-Mobile Going IPv6 Only
  2018   Going IPv6 Only (video available here)
Vodaphone New Zealand 2018   Advice for migrating to IPv6 in an ISP environment
Watch Communications 2018   Make IPv6 Work For You, Not Against You


1.5 Academic Community.

Source Date Title

6NET colleges and universities (see Note below)


An IPv6 Deployment Guide (chapters 13-14)

Brno University of Technology


Deploying IPv6 - practical problems from the campus perspective



Deploying IPv6 in University Campus Network - Practical Problems

Carleton University


Stop Procrastinating and Do IPv6

 Georgian College


0 to IPv6 in three months (A Customers View)

  Imperial College of London 2016 IPv6 Deployment at Imperial

 Louisiana State University


Operational Experience with IPv6: A Campus Implementation



IPv6 at LSU since 2008

McGill University


McGill University’s Network Transformation

 Merit Network 2018 A Model For Advancing IPv6 Deployment In REN And Higher Ed Networks
    The IPv6-Only Network
  2021 IPv6 Readiness Program Whitepaper (registration form to download the whitepaper)

 Monash University


IPv6 at Monash University

 Monmouth University


Stay on the Cutting Edge with IPv6

 Oxford University 2010  The State of the IPv6 Deployment

Université Laurentienne


IPv6 Urgently, Please!

 Universiy of Buffalo 2018 Agile Dual-Stack Approach to Campus-Wide IPv6 Roll Out
 University of Cambridge  2019  IPv6 at Cambridge

University of Colorado, Denver


IPv6 is Not Optional

University of Hawaii


The IPv6-only Network: Building Networks with DNS64/NAT64/464XLAT (video available here) (click here for further details)
    U. Hawaii IPv6 Deployment Experiences
University of Iowa 2018 Case Study: IPv6 at the University of Iowa

University of Pennsylvania


 Reexamining How We Build and Operate Networks

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)


IPv6 at Virginia Tech: Operational experiences from a large-scale production deployment

  2018 An IPv6 Journey Two Decades in the Making
  2023 25 Years of Production IPv6 Experience

Washington and Jefferson College


Access All the Resources in the World

 Note: The European 6NET project reported lessons learned by several colleges and universities, networking customers and ISPs of all sizes. The 6NET project began in 2002 and completed in Jun 2005, followed by the 6DISS project which completed in Sept 2007; followed by 6DEPLOY and 6DEPLOY-2 (www.6deploy.eu) which completed in Feb 2013. A more recent European IPv6 project was Governments Enabled with IPv6 (GEN6), which completed in May 2015. Deliverables and Presentations under the Publications tab of the GEN6 website provide additional material. The next European IPv6 project was IPv6 Framework for European Governments, which completed in 2018. Then came the European Union Internet Standards Deployment Monitoring Website project.

1.6 Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) and Software Development Organizations (SWDOs). 

  Date Title
Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)


Experiences from an IPv6-Only Network Request for Comments (RFC) 6586 



IPv6 Support Required for All IP-Capable Nodes RFC 6540



Guidance for Internet Content Providers and Application Service Providers RFC 6883

  2016 IPv4 Declared Historic draft-howard-sunset4-v4historic-00


IETF: End Work on IPv4 draft-ietf-sunset4-ipv6-ietf-01 (proposed Sept 2017, withdrawn June 2018)

  2023 IPv6 Deployment Status RFC 9386
IETF Journal 2008 IPv6 Deployment: Lessons from the Trenches


1.7 Non-commercial Organizations.

Source Date Title

American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN)





Implementing IPv6 at ARIN



IPv6 Success Stories From Companies That Have Done It (panel session highlights, full transcript and video)

Asia Pacific Network Information Center (APNIC)

2009 - 2013

IPv6 Transition Stories (presentations and videos from 14 organizations around the world)

   2017  APNIC IPv6 Deployment
 Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) 2011 IPv6 adoption experience & challenges from a ccTLD operator

Internet SOCiety (ISOC) Deploy360 Programme/IPv6

2010 - 2017

IPv6 Case Studies from over 17 organizations around the world



State of IPv6 Deployment 2018
 Internet Systems Consortium (ISC)


IPv6 Migration: Some Lessons Learned (a video)

National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA)


Incentives, Benefits, Costs, and Challenges to IPv6 Implementation (initial solicitation and numerous responses received from organizations around the world)

 San Joaquin Valley Library System 2019 Library Framework Setup for IPv6



MediaWiki IPv6 support


1.8 European and Asian IPv6 Communities.

Source Date Title

6NET networking customers and ISPs (see Note following 1.5 Academic Community category above)


An IPv6 Deployment Guide (chapter 12)

Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) 2021 BEREC public technical workshop on IPv6 deployment across Europe

Clara.net ISP


IPv6 Deployment at clara.net



IPv6 Services Deployment

Heise Online


The Big IPv6 Experiment

Government of India, Ministry of Communications & Information Technology, Department of Telecommunications 2014 Compendium on IPv6 Based Solutions/Architecture/Case Studies for Different Industry Verticals
IPv6 Framework for European Governments (see Note following 1.5 Academic Community category above) 05/2018

Workshop 1: Identifying barriers to IPv6 Adoption
                      (see also this 2003 presentation)
Workshop 2: (cancelled)
Workshop 3:: Overcoming barriers to IPv6 Adoption
Workshop 4:: Lessons Learned and Next Steps

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Information Sharing Platform Laboratories


Deploying IPv6: Problems and Solutions

Qatar Communications Regulatory Authority 2021 Qatar: a model for IPv6 Adoption

Swedish Post and Telecom Agency


Deploying IPv6 – Internet Protocol version 6 – Practical guidance

Telecom Italia ISP


Migration to IPv6 in Telecom Italia


1.9 Caribbean and Latin American Communities

Source Date Title

Cable & Wireless (C&W) Communications                                 


Enabling Internet Access Services over IPv6 in the Caribbean


1.10 Australian IPv6 Community

Source Date Title

FX Networks ISP


Eight hundred and sixty-eight days later

Internode ISP


IPv6 Experience at Internode: Development and Deployment

Internet Society of Australia


Underpinning Infrastructure



IPv6 for e-Business (website)


1.11 The Small Office/Home Office (SOHO)

Operating System Date Title

agnostic (networking emphasis)


You Have IPv6. Turn it On.

BSD/Linux/Apple OS X/ Microsoft Windows


IPv6 for All (chapters 2 and 3)



IPv6 Deployment: SOHO Network



Linux Home Networking with IPv6



Office network transition to IPv6 only



Upgrading Wytze’s Home Network to support IPv6

Linux/Apple OS X/Microsoft Windows


IPv6 Only Networks: Experiences


2. DREN IPv6 Pilot lessons learned summaries. If you want to discover the lessons learned by the DREN dual-stack pilot during the 2003 through 2014 time period, without having to read through the detailed articles that comprise the majority of the IPv6 Knowledge Base, you have four choices:

  • This presentation and accompanying white paper provides an executive overview of the DREN IPv6 Pilot. They describe challenges overcome by the DREN IPv6 Pilot.
  • This article provides a mid-level review of the DREN IPv6 Pilot and lessons learned during its deployment of IPv6: DREN IPv6 Pilot — 3 years of IPv6 in the real world. This covers the history, organization, processes, and results of the DREN IPv6 Pilot as of 2006. It discusses the reasons for the success of the DREN IPv6 Pilot, and provides some details (elapsed time, hours, dollars, training) for how “success” was measured (metrics). If you are really in a hurry and only have time to look at a couple of slides, then look at slides 44-47.
  • This presentation provides a mid-level assessment of the DREN IPv6 Pilot lessons learned as of 2014.
  • In a series of briefings started in 2005 and continuing through 2012, more specific technical lessons learned summaries have been presented at the Internet2 Joint Techs workshops. Those briefings are available here in the “Various Presentations” section of the DREN IPv6 Backbone website (archived 2012).

3. DREN IPv6 Pilot lessons learned details. The six sections that follow the Deployment section (IP Transport, Infrastructure, Network Management, Security, Applications, and Testing) contain articles providing more detailed descriptions of the lessons learned by DREN as well as by numerous other organizations while deploying IPv6, together with informal guidelines and aides to help in deploying IPv6.

4. Recipients of DREN IPv6 Pilot lessons learned. Lessons learned have been provided by the DREN IPv6 Pilot to other organizations through conference presentations, participation in numerous DoD, Service, and other Federal organizations' working groups, and in response to questionnaires received from commercial companies and Federal organizations.

5. Lessons learned from protocol transitions prior to IPv4. Networks used other protocols prior to IPv4. A comprehensive summary of lessons learned during earlier protocol transitions was provided by Tony Hain here. Two important IETF RFCs specific to the transition to IPv4 are RFC 801 ”NCP/TCP Transition Plan” and RFC 942 “Transport Protocols for Department of Defense Data Networks.” They discuss basic issues and provide a few warnings against tempting shortcuts. A retrospective article on the shortcomings of the Network Control Protocol (NCP) is available. (Caution: Published on April Fools' Day, 2011!).