Migrating to IPv6

Upgrading to an exclusively IPv6 environment should be a long-term goal. You will need to follow these general steps (with proper testing prior to any implementation) to migrate to IPv6:

1. As you deploy new computers or operating systems, configure them to support both IPv6 and IPv4. If you plan to continue using computers running Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, gradually enable IPv6 across your infrastructure for those hosts.

2. Upgrade your routing infrastructure to support native IPv6 routing.

3. Upgrade your DNS infrastructure to support IPv6 AAAA records and PTR records in the IP6.ARPA reverse domain.

4. Connect your routing and DNS infrastructures to the IPv6 Internet by using technologies such as 6to4 or Teredo, if necessary.

5. Work with internal and external developers to upgrade your applications to be independent of IPv6 or IPv4.

6. After thorough testing, convert IPv4/IPv6 nodes to use only IPv6.

Of those steps, the single greatest challenge will be upgrading applications to support IPv6. Enterprises often have thousands of applications that must be tested. Many existing applications will not work properly in an IPv6 environment and will need to be either upgraded or replaced before IPv4 can be entirely disabled.


It’s worth remembering that deploying IPv6 is not trivial. Just having IPv6 enabled isn’t a big deal because most of the other devices on your network aren’t going to be using IPv6 (except for other computers running Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008), so if your machine is talking to a printer or other device, it will use just IPv4 by default. Once you start trying to roll out IPv6, though, there is a lot to consider. There are a lot of variables, and not all of the skills you used in IPv4 transfer to IPv6.

You need to plan it out and be ready to troubleshoot during rollout. Maybe some of your applications are just not IPv6 capable, or your older hardware doesn’t understand what an IPv6 address is. Maybe it is a configuration error on a host or router. There could be any number of issues that might cause problems, which is why I strongly recommend setting up an IPv6 test lab now—TODAY!—and testing your devices and applications to determine how they will work in an IPv6 network while building your IPv6 skills.

A lot of people are running IPv6 with Windows and a wide array of stuff and are making it work. To help you get there, we provide tools such as checkv4.exe (available at http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms740624.aspx) to help you figure out whether your code has any IPv4 calls hardcoded into it, in addition to white papers such as “Manageable Transition to IPv6 using ISATAP” (available at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=B8F50E07-17BF-4B5C-A1F9-5A09E2AF698B), a joint white paper with Cisco describing how to ease the deployment of IPv6, and “Enabling the Next Generation of Networking with End-to-End IPv6” (available at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=b3611543-58b5-4ccc-b6ce-677ebb2a520d), a joint white paper with Juniper discussing IPv6 deployment and benefits. All of these and more are available from http://www.microsoft.com/ipv6. In short, we are working with lots of industry partners to simplify IPv6 deployment and make sure that all of our customers can gain the maximum value from IPv6.

Source of Information : Microsoft Press Windows Server 2008 Networking and Network Access Protection NAP

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