Teneo !!!

Aaron’s blog on Networking, and Enterprise Technology

IPv6: Fact or Fiction

IPv6 is supposed to be the savior of current network protocols. Lots of advantages, little hassle. So, why haven’t we moved over to it yet?

Well, there are a few reasons for me. Most, of which, just requires disciplined thinking. See, I’ve gotten use to the idea of just “knowing” where the subnets are, how routing takes place, and the troubleshooting process if it fails. IPv6 changes all that, and I must also change my way of thinking. Human behavior is my largest challenge.

For example, back in the days (yes, I can now use that phrase), we used to have “centralized” computing. That is, you would have a central processing computer, and all the user computers would just be dumb terminals off that main system. Once you learned the system, you got used to, or familiar with, how the system works. Then, everything got “decentralized” when the PC mades it’s debut. Many feared it, as it completely changed the way things “worked”. You had to “re-learn” the system process.

IPv6 is no different. Sure, it’s better. But it’s hard to remove something that you “just know”, in place of something that changes how you think at the network layer.

One of these “behavior modification” pieces, is that fact that there is no more NAT. Everyone celebrate with me! Oh, to not have to worry about non-NAT protocols, or NAT-T, or any kind of translation tables. Woohooo! But, on the other side, admins have gotten used to NAT, and feel it is a violation if they don’t “protect” their network. News Flash! NAT doesn’t protect your network…. firewalls do. But, it’s still hard to change this line of thinking.  Many of us remember being forced to use NAT, when the internet became more prevalent in the business.  But, it wasn’t to *hide* your network.  This was just considered an “added benefit”, since you were forced to use it in the first place.

Another reason is that many ISP’s haven’t rolled out IPv6 yet. You really can’t get the full benefits, if you still have to translate.

You really should read up on David Chisnall’s article, “IPv6: Why Bother?“. He does a great job at discussing IPv6 in a “down-to-earth” way.

The bottom line is, I haven’t moved to IPv6 yet either, even though I understand the benefits.  I do have test labs setup, but I’m just not *there* yet for a full roll-out.  Though, I’m starting to feel the pressure as our factory in Brazil has already moved over.

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