Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Guide for Checking your IPv6 readiness



Below is a guide for home users and small business on how to check your devices and network for IPv6-readiness and what resources are out there for you:

Use this quick IPv6 readiness test: You can run a quick test to see if the device you are using is IPv6 enabled by clicking on this link to test ipv6.com. It's especially helpful because it will tell you if your ISP is prepared as well. You can use the test results to communicate with your ISP about its plans for IPv6 conversion.

Check your device: Check to ensure networking devices such as switches and routers are IPv6 enabled. Much of the newer networking equipment out on the market can have IPv6 enabled by going into the device's management interface and in many instances, all that is required is checking a box. If you have older equipment, check the vendor's site, or contact the vendor to find out if there are any firmware updates for IPv6 compatibility for your device.

Cisco Systems has a useful whitepaper for businesses and enterprises to prepare for IPv6 conversion on its Web site. Here is some information extracted from that site which pertains mostly to smaller businesses:

There are three main areas a small business should focus on in preparing for IPv6: email, web servers and Domain Name Servers (DNS). Many small businesses are using hosted services for all three. If that is the case with your small business, check with your hosting provider to ensure they are IPv6 ready. Many of the larger hosting providers are participating in testing today, so follow up with them to check their results.



For businesses that locally host and manage their email, web servers and DNS:


Adding native IPv6 to existing web servers: Configure IPv6 on the Web server itself (Apache, Microsoft's IIS, and most other modern Web servers have supported IPv6 for several years) as well as on the load balancers. This is the clean and efficient way to do it, but some applications or scripts running on the Web servers may need some code change (notably if they use, manipulate, or store the remote IP address of their clients).


Adding IPv6 support to email: The sending and receiving of email over the Internet occurs through Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) atop TCP. Most popular Mail Transfer Agents (MTAs) are fully capable of using IPv6. However, some of the support functions now common in these servers are not yet present for IPv6. This includes blacklisting and reputation services notably used for antispam. When more traffic, and hence more spam, moves to IPv6, these tools can be expected to become available. Check with the vendor of any of the security tools you use in conjuction with your email platform about their plans for support.


IPv6 information in DNS: Add the IPv6 addresses of all public servers in the DNS database. This is simply done by adding specific Resource Records (RRs) with the IPv6 address (those records are called AAAA). Cisco also advises adding the reverse mapping of IPv6 addresses to Fully Qualified Domain Names (FQDNs). For dual-stack servers, there are two RRs per FQDN: one IPv4 address (type A) and one IPv6 address (type AAAA). For organizations using major DNS server implementations which include ISC BIND, Cisco Network Registrar and Microsoft DNS Server, rest assured, these systems have supported IPv6 for several years.

If you run a small business network, check to ensure all applications and systems can run without incident during this global testing phase. Chances are, most small businesses and home users will not have many issues, although some sites on the Internet and some smaller ISPs may have some hiccups with the transitions. However, this testing and ferreting out potential problems is what World IPv6 day is all about, so use it your advantage. 

5 comments:

  1. I'm still stuck on IPv4 :(

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  2. I think most people don't even know about this.. Why does American technological infrastructure suck so bad?

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  3. Haha, I'm technologically stupid so I have no idea what this is about!

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  4. lol @ what skaerf said. I didnt even know what this was about until i looked it up.

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