Creating an IPv6 implementation plan

Rebecca Karpinski rkarpinski at
Wed Aug 22 15:56:32 CEST 2007

Well, here's hoping we're not too late to join the party. 
This will probably be long, and for that I apologize in advance.
My Goal:
Create an IPv6 implementation plan for our company (smallish cable company &
ISP in mid-west USA) that accommodates our plans for growth (SIP anyone?)
through the projected IPv4 runout but does not hinder said growth by being
generally defective and losing our established customer base to the big-boys
playing in our sandbox.

I'm probably what you'd call a "junior" engineer.  I've been working for
this company in various capacities for about 7 years, but have only been
part of our IP engineering group for a little over 1 year, and am still
learning a lot.  (They had to send me to a class on OSPF and BGP when I
started in this department, but I'm much better now ;> )Since around
January, I've been subscribed to ARIN's ppml mailing list, and have been
slowly getting myself acquainted with the IPv4 -> IPv6 situation.  In
February I submitted a completed copy of the ARIN IPv6 request form to my
superiors for review (in the hopes we'd turn it in.)  In July, one of the
big-wigs in the company must've read an article about IPv6 because now we're
in an all-fired hurry to get an implementation plan put together (we got our
/32 allocation toward the end of July)  I posted a bit of our situation in
the ppml list and someone recommended I do so here as well, as this list is
probably more appropriate to get operational information than the policies
list.  I've spent the last 2 weeks reading through the archives, and think
I'm getting a basic handle of the current situation.

Much of the documentation that I'm finding that details implementation plans
for ISPs deploying IPv6 predate 6bone being dismantled, and all predate the
issues with Type 0 Routing Headers. (Does that matter?  I don't know.)  I
find myself trying to correlate many disparate and contradictory sets of
instructions and it is beyond confusing. (6 to 4, 6 over 4, tunneling, NAT,
DON'T NAT, p2p link numbering, and so much more)

Plan thus far:
1. Dual stack our core network, which currently consists of a mix of
Foundry, Juniper, and Cisco gear.
   a. Can't find consensus on BCP for numbering this network.  It doesn't
help that we don't follow BCP for numbering in IPv4, but this might be an
opportunity to do things "right" - if I could figure out what that means.
   b. Still need to find out where each piece of hardware is on the spectrum
of IPv6 readiness.  (Not possible vs. needs upgrades vs. ready)
2. Locate subscribers willing to become V6 testers.  It appears that it
would be much easier from a technical standpoint to do so with our Direct
Ethernet and Frame Relay customers than our Cable Modem subscribers as we
are still trying to find equipment to TEST that is/will be supposedly DOCSIS
3 compliant.  Unfortunately, our business customers are... shall we say,
less adventurous than many of our residential cable modem subscribers, so we
may not have any takers until we can implement V6 capable CMTS and modem
3. Implement test environment for subscribers including
   a. DNS
   b. Hosted sites
   c. DHCP?
   d. BGP?  (We are currently multi-homed with 4 different providers, about
to add a fifth, and have 10 OC-12 & OC-3 circuits with said providers.  Of
those, I don't believe ANY have native IPv6, but I believe Sprint will do
tunneling if we bat our eyelashes whilst we hassle them endlessly)
   e. Email (this is outsourced so that is a big question mark...)
4. Implement a test environment for our internal/corporate network.  (this
may happen prior to # 2, but I have serious concerns that our billing
software will be... problematic.)

You may notice I don't really have much in the way of details in this plan,
and that is because I'm having a lot of trouble wrapping my head around this
issue based on the reading I've done so far.  I'm looking to find CURRENT
resources (ie recently reviewed and updated) that will help us form our
plans.  Classes would be AMAZING, conferences would be good, and books and
articles to use vs. avoid would also be helpful.  Not only do I need to
understand this process, but also the senior engineers who will actually put
in the purchase orders for any equipment or upgrades, and managers who will
be paying for said classes/conferences/upgrades.  The only consensus I CAN
find right now in the forums and sites is... we probably should've started
this process last year.  :(
(Well, there are a few people who still think we won't run out of v4 until
2030, but I consider them to be a rather vocal minority.)

Rebecca Karpinski
Core Network Engineer
Buckeye CableSystem

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