Here’s a list of IT stuff you should check for IPv6 support. What have I left off the list?
One of the critical steps to IPv6 adoption is auditing your network (and what’s attached to it) to determine what hardware and software supports IPv6 now, what you’ll have to upgrade, and what will never support IPv6 and must be replaced.
Scanning the list below, you may recognize some elements from your own IT infrastructure that you realize have a difficult or impossible path to supporting IPv6. That’s probably ok. Given that most organizations will choose a dual-stack configuration for at least the short to medium term, some services and applications (and the processes they support) may safely remain IPv4-only.
With that in mind, here’s the list of IT stuff you should check for IPv6 support:
Critical desktop and laptop apps
Transparent caching appliances
NMS software and/or appliances
Overall IPv6 addressability of network management interfaces of any device
CDP/FDP (layer 2 but will they display IPv6 information?)
IPS/threat mitigation software and/or appliances
Route server software and/or appliances
Geolocation database subscriptions
Kernel modules (TCP acceleration)
Wireless APs and control appliances
TACACS/RADIUS software and/or appliances
Stateful and stateless firewalls
Other networking gear with ACLs
VPN and dial access servers
Proxies, network and application level
Applications (especially custom ones)
Web server software and all the various plugins and addons
Mail transfer agents
Calendar and other productivity servers
Source control or revision control and push systems
Accounting, payroll, financial systems
Embedded or specialty systems
PBX and SIP/VOIP
Manufacturing or monitoring gear
Specialized systems with firmware-based OS/software
Card key systems
And, last but not least…
Routers and switches
In many cases, if you’ve kept up with regular tech refresh for hardware and software, you may have some degree of IPv6 support already without even having asked for it, as many vendors have been working diligently to add IPv6 feature parity to their products. Most router and switch vendors (especially vitamin C, J, and B) have been improving their IPv6 functionality for well over a decade. Still, if a particular feature is critical to your operation, caveat emptor: Trust but verify — with in-house testing any vendor claims of IPv4 to IPv6 feature parity.
It’s also prudent that you make sure all existing and new vendors you work with either support IPv6 today or have it on their roadmap with a commitment to delivering any critical features you might need by the time you plan on rolling IPv6 out.
Let me know in the comments if I’ve left anything off the list!