IPv6 Enabled Enterprises Workshop

The National Cybersecurity Center Center of Excellence (NCCoE) hosted a great IPv6 workshop today. Spectacular and substantive discussion packed into a morning workshop on the stae of IPv6 deployment in the enterprise network. The workshop was MCed by Doug Montgomery from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). You can take a look at the full Agenda here: https://www.nccoe.nist.gov/events/security-ipv6-enabled-enterprises. My takeaways are below:

  • Kevin Stein, Doug Montgomery, John Burns, Lee Howard, Dawn Bedard gave great updates on their current enterprise IPv6 deployment lessons learned
  • Verison FiOS still hasn’t implemented IPv6 – one of the last holdouts of the home and business service provider industry.
  • The DoD has recognized their lack of participation since 2010 – DoD CIO is pushing to get back into implementing across the DoD Information Network (DoDIN) again
  • The IPv6 adoption rates are growing, and have plateaued a bit in the past year or so. 24.25% implementation rate to Google as of today.
  • The largest drivers for IPv6 adoption are wirelesss service providers – not the US Government any longer.
  • Enterprise adoption of IPv6 is still lagging greatly. Some of the top blockers to adoption are:
    • No organizational return on investment
    • No real mandate or procurement push by the US government any longer
    • Training and education for technical operators and IT staff is terrible and nonexistent
    • NAT is still in favor, and some networks are starting to use the Carrier Grade NAT (CGN) reserved subnet of as their own personal new private address space to use internally. Don’t do this please! Just don’t.
    • Vendor IT products still aren’t implementing full parity. Whether it’s management or data planes, applications and products aren’t fully implementing IPv6 in their products – so enterprises are using it as an excuse not to transition.
    • Enterprises, by their nature, are more complex and hardened networks, and IPv6 will take longer and everything is much more difficult.
  • Some of the current and future drivers that might be helping move adoption:
    • the new wireless 5G will take a stagnant residential deployment and increase it exponentially. In 5G, it’s not just wireless handsets, whole residential communities will access internet services this way.
    • new protocol enhancements will improve things (re: OSPFv2 to OSPFv3, or DHCP to Stateless Address Autoconfiguration (SLAAC)
    • IPv6 is faster. There’s actually research now – APNIC released IPv6 performance data.
    • Global interoperability and keeping a competitive advantage. As other regions struggle to just implement IP. They are going IPv6-only. This leaves enterprises with IPv4-only at a disadvantage.
  • Bottom line: IPv6 enterprise adoption is miserable all over the world, but things can get better.

Our friends at NIST and the NCCoE will be releasing a whitepaper based on this workshop and the feedback from us and other organizations represented very soon. Keep an eye on this space. And if you are in need of IPv6 training, consulting, or support, please let us know! We can help!

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