* Option 1: Dual stack throughout the network: The most commonly used option, whereby the network is designed to
support both native IPv4 and native IPv6 simultaneously to the end customer. The service provider can offer IP
transit service in multiple flavors namely, native IPv4, Dual-Stack IPv4/IPv6 and native IPv6. The native IPv4 is
business as usual practice being run for ages, Dual-Stack IPv4/IPv6 allows the service provider to offer both IPv4
and IPv6 services over the same backbone where both kind of traffic simply transverse the network as an IP packet.
Finally, for the technology savvy end customers, the service provider can also offer native IPv6 service, which
allows the end users to use the service separate to their IPv4 service, and is preferred by some customers to
balance their network hierarchy.
* Option 1-B: Tunneling IPv6 over IPv4 using 6RD (anycast): While not the best way to deploy IPv6, but preferred
by service providers who want a low investment and do not have an access network capable of supporting IPv6. Native
IPv6 is not supported in this scenario, thus potentially requiring a second upgrade in the future, hence requiring
another round of financial justification, education, etc., for the service provider. There are also other ways and
means available to service providers to enable their networks to support IPv6, but those are neither easy nor
common in terms of approach.
In closing, it is fair to suggest that IPv6's greatest challenges are not technical or economic, but rather the
bizarre myths that have arisen, including, Lance says:
* The belief that IPv6 is just an unprofitable switchover in Internet technical plumbing, when it has the great
benefit of supporting vastly larger, safer, more efficient -- and hence cheaper -- network infrastructure.
* The fear that IPv6 is a costly "all or nothing' transition" when in fact there are staging solutions to help
run IPv4 and IPv6 networks in tandem.
* And the assumption that IPv6 is just like IPv4 only bigger, when in fact it needs good levels of understanding
through training and workshops to be implemented securely and with maximum return on the investment.
Once a decision is taken to move forward with training and implementation then IPv6 all falls easily into
Perrine is a director at Jaymie Scotto & Associates. JSA provides clients with critical industry perspective
and visibility. Our innovative tools, expert team and established relationships within the industry ensure the
finest public relations, marketing and event planning services available in telecom.
Read more about lan and wan in Network World's LAN
& WAN section.