I’ve written before about why it’s time to start preparing for IPv6 and the some of the transition challenges that you might face. Today, I want to focus on three ways a robust IP address management (IPAM) solution can put you on the right course for your IPv6 future.
1. Understand What You Already Have
IPv6 is more than just a bigger and better version of IPv4. A successful IPv6 deployment will actually give you the chance to right some of the wrongs of your current IPv4 infrastructure. To do this, you must first understand how your resources are spread out on your network. An IPAM system allows you to catalogue your IPv4 network resources and this makes it much easier to implement proper IPv6 addressing. An added bonus of cataloguing via IPAM is that you also gain subscriber usage statistics about your IPv4 space.
2. Design Your New Network
IPv6 is also an opportunity to clean the slate and redesign your entire networking infrastructure. Your IPv4 network would have evolved over many years and you may have made some poor decisions in an effort to stretch your precious IP resources over an expanding number of subscribers. These days, you probably have a better idea of how your business is growing, and with IPv6, you have access to more IP addresses than you will ever need. So instead of allocating small blocks like /24, /18, and /16, you can use an IPAM system to allocate and track much larger blocks of /32, /48, /52 and so on. This allows you to deploy IPv6 with room for thousands of years of growth, while also simplifying routing on your network.
3. Deploy and Monitor
Once you have a clear understanding of your resources and have designed your new network, the final step is to deploy and monitor your new address space. An IPAM solution allows you to monitor your IPv6 deployment and re-adjust your strategy as required to keep routing simple and straightforward. This kind of monitoring is integral to the success of an IPv6 deployment and should be an important factor when choosing your IPAM solution.
An IPAM solution can help you navigate the learning curve of IPv6 and verify that your network is behaving as you expected. As a result, an IPAM solution is no longer just “nice-to-have”, but is now a necessity in an IPv6-transitioning world.