Implementing IPv6: Transition or Implementation?

People speak almost universally about “IPv6 transition planning,” or an “IPv6 transition plan.” In reality, what most people are doing is planning for IPv6 implementation, not transition.

Transition implies that you are replacing one technology with another, whereas implementation implies that you are adding a technology to what you already have. And in most cases, that’s what you’ll be doing with IPv6: Adding it to your network, not replacing IPv4. There may be parts of your network in which you replace IPv4 with IPv6, but probably not that many in the beginning.

The implication of this—IPv4 and IPv6 coexisting in your network—is that in most cases the two must interoperate. Interoperability is the biggest challenge to introducing IPv6 into coexistence with IPv4, and I’ll be writing about that later in this series on implementation.

But one of the first elements of the implementation plan is a good inventory. I’ll write about that in the next post.

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