Tips to Create an IPv6 Addressing Plan

22/03/2022

By José Cotúa – General Manager of TECNOLÓGICA SIMEON COMPANY CHILE SpA

In collaboration with LACNIC, we have designed a guide for organizations so that they can successfully develop an IPv6 addressing plan. In this way, we seek to collaborate in the development of strategies to deploy this Internet protocol.

An IPv6 addressing plan is defined as a systematic model that sets out technical and procedural details on how the different IPv6 addressing assignments will be allocated within a network, either by an end-customer or an ISP operator.

This plan is developed in advance and is part of the IPv6 transition and deployment planning processes and activities.

This plan makes it possible to organize in advance the procedure for allocating IPv6 numbering resources within the network, making it possible to document and facilitate allocations, assist in fault resolution processes, and guarantee the scalable growth of the network. This allows the implementation of best practices and facilitates the deployment of traffic engineering techniques, network routing and even quality of service.

Why? In my opinion, the transition to IPv6 represents a project, and as such, it involves at least one well-defined objective: to deploy IPv6 in the ISP operator’s or end customer’s network. As with any project, there are several processes that must be carried out, including initiation, planning, execution and control, and closure, among others. It is fundamental to plan all the technical and procedural details of the activities to be carried out. Also, it is important to have an addressing plan to document, facilitate, optimize and speed up the use of IPv6 numbering resources within the network. Moreover, its relevance does not only lie in improving allocation management, but also in optimizing technical and engineering aspects of network routing.

Are we on the right track? The development of an IPv6 addressing plan involves several aspects: its planning, implementation, documentation and application. In particular, I have observed that ISPs have started to develop an addressing plan as part of an important aspect of the transition process. However, it seems that they only go as far as defining and making the plan. I believe that the ISPs have yet to implement and document the plan (their management). In other words, organizations have become aware of the need for an IPv6 addressing plan. Although they intend to define it and do it, which is a step forward, they lack the management and implementation of such a plan in a cross-cutting manner throughout the entire IPv6 transition project. I believe we should be moving in that direction. In other words, I feel that the IPv6 addressing plan, in some cases, remains in theory and is not put into practice.

LACNIC has done a great job in promoting the importance of making the IPv6 transition process more professional, and gradually organizations, especially ISPs, have come to understand that they must organize, plan and execute the process hand in hand with a well-designed and structured plan. Planning the transition to IPv6, together with the IPv6 addressing plan, shows a particularly significant growth in the last four years in LATAM. In addition, different consulting firms in the region have made visible the need for organizations to see the transition to IPv6 as a project that requires knowledge, investment of both time and money, and professionalism in order to do it in the best possible way.

Some tips for the development of a successful IPv6 addressing plan.

  • Appoint a technical leader and a team in charge of developing the IPv6 addressing plan. This team not only leads the planning and preparation of the addressing plan, but also its implementation, documentation and registration throughout the transition project.
  • Plan the elaboration of the addressing plan, conduct prior research on good practices, some success stories or examples of addressing plans, as well as preliminarily define the guidelines and/or policies related to IPv6 addressing allocations.
  • Consider the procedures for requesting, registering, and documenting the IPv6 allocations to be carried out.
  • Research on best practices and algorithms for scalable and efficient IPv6 addressing allocation. The design should always focus on optimizing the routing table size of the network’s routers.
  • Contemplate allocations for IPv6 addressing for special and specific use, such as: private non-internet traffic (different from ULA use), laboratory, demo, certification, proof of concept, advertising, special transition mechanisms, restricted and classified use applications and servers, as well as for specific technologies such as: cloud, AI, data centers, storage, among others.
  • Disseminate the result of the addressing plan so that it is available to the entire transition team. For example, it should be available on a web server, App, etc. Of course, subject to the required levels of security and confidentiality. It is also recommended that, once the addressing plan has been prepared, there should be a presentation of the plan in order to disseminate and promote its implementation and follow-up.

For more information on how to deploy IPv6, please visit the following page: https://www.lacnic.net/despliegaIPv6.

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