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Oct 12 2011   11:09AM GMT

Preparing for IPv6? Grill Your ISP!

Ed Tittel Ed Tittel Profile: Ed Tittel

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you already know I’m working with Jeff Carrell and a couple of other IPv6 stalwarts (Mark Mirroto, and Tom Lancaster, both CCIEs, to be specific) on a revision to my college textbook Guide to TCP/IP. It’s going into a fourth edition, but this time we’re reworking the book completely — you guessed it — to switch the emphasis and the bulk of its coverage to IPv6. It’s a mammoth effort, and it’s been a real learning experience for all of us, but it’s forced us to turn over and tune up our own knowledge bases, as we prepare to teach others how to learn and use IPv6 properly on their own networks.

With one third of global companies already doing “something” with IPv6, and the other two-thirds planning to do likewise in the next 2-3 years, it’s time for EVERYBODY to start thinking about why, how, and when to add IPv6 capability to their networks. In the same vein, it’s also time to start thinking about getting IPv6 through your internet service provider or ISP as well. And like many companies, many ISPs offer only token support for IPv6, or may have pilot projects up and going, but haven’t yet adopted IPvt6 fully either.

That’s where this extremely handy questionnaire from Cisco comes into play. entitled “What to Ask From Your Service Provider About IPv6” it covers all of the questions you’ll need to get answered before you can even think about routing IPv6 traffic on and off your own networks. In posing these questions, it also points you to a lot of stuff you need to learn about, and either implement or complement on your own networks, too. It’s a great piece of work, and should go into the IPv6 toolkits for anybody who’s tasked with or interested in what’s involved in adding IPv6 support to an existing network.

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