Don’t leave IPv6 configuration to your ISP.
You can afford to be a bit smug reading this blog article. After all, you must have a working IP configuration.
But what about the next colleague to join your organisation, in that new branch office? You can no longer be truly certain that they are going to get those traditional IPv4 addresses you have spent your working life dealing with. After all, they ran out in 2015. Is it your problem to get things working if they get these new ‘IPv6’ addresses or do you really think your ISP will sort it out?
All IPv6 requires from you is preparation to make sure that your users and your customers and your suppliers can all continue to transact business. It means your infrastructure needs to be able to either speak it natively or to have something do the required translation. This is a network level change and therefore it is the network manager who will be responsible for ensuring that everything still works as the business expects, when the business expects.
IPv6 Network Audit
There are a great deal of matters to be considered because the humble path from eyeball to data and back passes over many devices and through many processes, all of which need to be addressable. We have outlined some of these in our audit documentation to guide you, but since the scope for connectivity is actually very large, and depends not just on your controlled infrastructure but that of your ISP and outsourced suppliers, we have found that many organisations become bogged down in trying to track the changes they need to implement for successful adoption and full readiness for IPv6.
Whilst IPv6 as a technology is far from new (having been standardised in 1998), deployment in business organizations has lagged far behind that of education. Consequently it is not surprising that confusion reigns about whether, what, how, and when changes can and should be made. In practice you will find that gradual transition alongside co-existence makes it easier to test your environment and make changes within planned maintenance windows, provided you keep in mind that you must always remind yourself to consider IPv6 addressing alongside IPv4.
Our advice would be that you should consider what the IT path is for your core business processes, the ones that bring in the money. If they are wholly internal, then maybe nothing needs to change at all. It is where there are interfaces with the outside world, whether through the web or connections to external partners, data centres, or cloud-based servers that you need to think through the changes, especially those that are so ubiquitous you forget they are there – such as DNS and ActiveDirectory.