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Deploying Dual-Stack IPv4 and IPv6 Networks

Doing an IPv6 implementation project does not involve tearing down an aging IPv4 network and replacing it with a new IPv6-enabled network. Instead, the IPv4 and IPv6 networks will run in parallel in what the industry calls a "dual-stack" network. But IPv4 and IPv6 are so significantly different in design that network management tools designed for an IPv4 network may not work the same in an IPv6 environment.

A network monitoring tool may reveal that maybe 5% or 10% of network traffic is IPv6 traffic, but it may not be able to identify which specific packets are IPv6, and some tools may not have been upgraded to support IPv6.

"It's still a work in progress to gain consistent visibility of mixed environments," says Frey.

Variables such as those described by Frey illustrate the need for a well-thought-out and well-executed rollout plan, says ISOC's Daigle.

"Any enterprise network operator knows that something done quickly is something done expensively," she says.

The third segment of this series--which first looked at how different networks have different IPv6 needs--will examine how to manage compliance and security in an IPv6 project.

Learn more about Fundamentals: Understanding Private Cloud Stacks by subscribing to Network Computing Pro Reports (free, registration required).

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