IPv6 Best Practices, Benefits And Challenges: As 5G communications and Internet of Things (IoT) emerge in many industry verticals, a scalable IP technology is required with no constraint in number of addresses and no connectivity constraints.
To serve those needs, the networking industry has initiated a global effort to transition to Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6).
For example, the Internet Architecture Board (IAB) at the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) issued in November 2016, an “IAB Statement on IPv6”, stating that “IETF will stop requiring IPv4 compatibility in new or extended protocols.
Future IETF protocol work will then optimize for and depend on IPv6”. Similarly, 3GPP is considering mandating IPv6 in 5G Standalone (SA).
In addition, major governments like those of the USA and China will issue new policies and requirements for IPv6 [OMB][APNIC_2].
Since the end of 2017, the Chinese government has strongly pushed forward the development of IPv6 nationwide, and great progress has been made thanks to the involvement of Chinese operators.
IPv6 connectivity services are now provided to Chinese customers, and the total amount of IPv6 users dramatically increased: there are now 330 million IPv6 users in China, as per the latest China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT) statistics of 2019.
Some people may still want to ask the classic question: “Users do not care about IPv4 or IPv6, and migrating to IPv6 involves a lot of cost and difficulties, so why should we do it now”?
The short answer is: IPv6 is growing faster than IPv4, in all measures such as number of users, percentage of content, and amount of traffic.
This means that despite all the doubt, cost and difficulties, the collective wisdom of the networking industry has selected IPv6 for the future.
Moreover, it is worth noting that, the “device – network – content” communication chain is now ready for IPv6. This is different from the last wave of the IPv6 deployment campaign around 2011 that was triggered by Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) running out of IPv4 addresses.
Devices and content were not IPv6 ready at that time, but they are ready now. Therefore, when operators move more subscribers to use IPv6, they can immediately profit from several IPv6 benefits, e.g. reducing Capital Expenses (CAPEX) and Operational Expenses (OPEX), by eliminating Network Address Translation (NAT)/ Carrier Grade NAT (CGNAT) tax and the complexity it brings forth.
Several stakeholders, such as governments, end users, enterprises and as well Internet service providers/operators are considering deploying and/or applying IPv6.
Once deployed, IPv6 can open the door to new opportunities in network operations & management and to offer enhanced services. It is expected that IPv6 can become unavoidable and the value of IPv4 assets (about $20 per IP) can be repurposed.
This White Paper will elaborate on this point and provide pragmatic recommendations about IPv6 implementation and transition techniques, and IPv6 transition and operation strategy.
In particular, this White Paper focuses on the IPv6 adoption and shows how the IPv6 deployment and use, has increased in the last 5 years.
IPv6 is in a key stage of deployment, and since ETSI ISG IP6 is reaching the end of its journey, this is a perfect time to review the work achieved by this group and report in this White Paper the main aspects of the IPv6 technology. read full pdf here