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IPv6 Deployment: The Dual Stack Solution

Migrating to IPv6 is not a matter to be taken lightly.  While IPv6 use and management is similar to IPv4, the problem is it is not backwards compatible. At the same token, IPv6 will eventually replace IPv4 but the official transition completion is still years away. In the meantime, a large portion of the Internet will run IPv4 and IPv6 simultaneously. 

It is inevitable that IPv6 must be eventually adopted by more companies to ensure continued Internet growth.  This is necessary in order to make certain all users can interact with the Internet regardless of the protocol they use. Although thousands of enterprises are using IPv6, full IPv6 adoption is taking more time than previously anticipated. As a result, you may be receiving some traffic via IPv6 to your email, web, and application server at the present but the number of customers accessing the Internet using IPv6 will continue to grow rapidly.

The Dual Stack Solution

In order to reach future customers, all of your servers and applications must be available over both IPv4 and IPv6. When this is accomplished using a single device, the concept is known as a Dual Stack solution. 

As IPv4 is rapidly becoming depleted, many service providers will begin adding users to the Internet using IPv6. Simultaneously, IPv4 will remain operational for many years to come which is why it is important to support both versions of the protocol now and for the future. Additionally, third world countries that are just getting Internet access today are using older equipment that only supports IPv4 which is one reason it will take so long.

How Should Companies Begin Deploying IPv6

How companies should begin deploying IPv6 depends upon the types of services required.  For most companies, the first step in deploying IPv6 is on their Internet facing services such as public websites and email. 

For the above reasons, companies should use a provider which can support a dual stack environment. This also allows easy access to IPv6-only content while maintaining IPv4.


Dual Stack Provides the Answer

Although it may seem that company demand for IPv6 may be minimal at the present, it is important not to wait until complaints begin rolling in as to why a person’s content cannot be viewed or email cannot be delivered, etc.  Instead, get started with a provider that implements dual-stacked services that allow simultaneous communication with IPv4 and IPv6 devices. 

Additionally, application developers need  to make sure that all new products dual stack compatible so they can function with either protocol.  The same rule applies to hardware equipment which should be capable of interacting with IPv6 while transitioning from IPv4.

Since we’ve pushed the use of NAT beyond its limit, people are finally moving to IPv6. As with any new technology, adoption will take time. Since IPv6 implementation is unavoidable and will become more and more common, it is important for your company to get on board before you start having communication issues.




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