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What Should an Engineer Address when 'Selling' IPv6 to Executives?

On Mar 6, 2013, at 10:50 AM, Jeroen van Aart <jeroen at mompl.net> wrote:

> On 03/05/2013 05:41 PM, Owen DeLong wrote:
>> I think it's also important to cover the following topics somewhere in the process:
>> 1.	This will affect the entire organization, not just the IT department and
>> 	will definitely impact all of apps, sysadmin, devops, operations, and
>> 	networking teams within the IT department.
>> 2.	Training will be required for virtually all levels of the organization. End users
>> 	won't need more than a ~2 hour introduction to what to look for during and
> I've migrated (or enabled) offices (and homes) to IPv6 without them even realising it. If it's just enabling IPv6 connectivity there may be very little to be done with regards to training and informing end users. The beauty of IPv6 in my experience is that it is quite transparent, you don't even notice it is there (or shouldn't, if done properly).

You can usually get away with this for the home.

In the enterprise, I wouldn't recommend it.

If the users get surprised, it's a lot worse than if they know what's coming. Rumors rapidly get way out of hand before corrective action can quell a problem. OTOH, if the user base knows what to expect and that the problems are anticipated and/or being properly worked, you tend to get a greater level of patience and understanding.

Further, a little training up front can go a long way to getting better user reports into the help desk to reduce the time consumed in troubleshooting.

As I said, a 2 hour introduction is about all that's required, but it really is helpful.

As to other things, consider that once you enable stuff on IPv6, you need to be able to monitor it. If you're looking at IPv6 transition from an enterprise perspective, it's not just delivering IPv6 to every desktop, but making sure that all of your internal applications and services are also available on IPv6. That can be a significant development undertaking.

I agree just enabling the network to use it is a useful and positive step forward that can be taken fairly easily.

However, it's certainly not an end in and of itself and should not be where your efforts stop in any real plan.

> Adapting your current software to IPv6, that could be more tricky. Although if you use the right IPv6 aware libraries and functions it could be relatively easy in code. In my own apps it's just a matter of changing the ai_family flag of getaddrinfo() to AF_UNSPEC if not done so yet. Although interestingly that may have complications (sudden loss of connectivity or more subtle issues). So I can relate to the fact it can be tricky.

Yep. The important thing is for the enterprise to be aware of what is required and realize that it spans development, systems administration, networking, logistics, and will have end-user impacts worthy of some consideration.