With almost no inventory left of a vast number of IPv4 addresses, many organizations have prioritized migration to IPv6. However, it is close to an impossibility to switch to IPv6 without a complex transition process. This is because IPv6 has never been backward-compatible. This means that when hosts and routers are changed to IPv6, the old system still works with a new one without effecting any other changes.
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To solve the problem of interoperability of IPV4 and IPV6 systems, here are a few methods to make the transition easier.
This is one of the easiest methods to use when transitioning from IPv4 to IPv6. Install a router with both IPv4 and IP6 addresses configured into its interfaces and then direct the network to a relevant IP scheme. A dual stack router can allow for communication with both the IPv6 and IPv4 network.
It provides a platform in which the hosts are able to gain access to a server without changing their IP versions. However, for many businesses, IPv6 does not work on all of their IPv4 devices. This calls for consideration of other transition means.
Anyone with some knowledge of networking will understand the tunneling concept. A data packet is enclosed in a common interface such that it can be interchangeable, making it easier to transport it from its origin to where it is intended to arrive. It is then decapsulated and transmitted again. A number of tunneling concepts exist for IPv6. They include:
Manual IPv6 tunnels – the IPv6 tunnel is developed manually and then configured in a pair of routers that work for both IPv4 and IPv6. Any incoming traffic intended for networks on the other end of the tunnel is enclosed in a common interface on the origin router, and then tunneled on the IPv4 system.
Generic routing encapsulation IPv6 tunnels – this system was developed specifically for IPv6 tunneling. Its configuration and operation is quite similar to manual tunnels. The system can also work on a vast number of network protocols, and not just IPv4. A generic routing encapsulation tunnel is applied to tunnel IPv6 to IPv4, and vice versa.
This method is different from the transition methods mentioned above. It gives a means of translating IPv4 data to IPv6 data, and vice versa. With translation, traffic is not enclosed in a common interchangeable interface, but rather, it is changed to the destination type, be it IPv4 or IPv6. There are two translation methods applied to IPv6 networks. These are:
Network access translation – This gives the ability of dynamically configuring an IPv4 address to IPv6, and vice versa. This method ties in an application layer gateway functionality that allows you to change a domain name system mapping in protocols.
NAT64 – This system is widely accepted as it is an upgrade of network access translation protocol. It offers a stateful option on its deployment which allows for maintaining track of binding.
Hopefully you’ve found today’s article helpful as you consider the options for migrating your network from IPv4 to IPv6.