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- About the IGF and BPFs
- Why deploying IPv6
- Creating an enabling environment for IPv6 adoption (BPF 2015)
1. Introduction & Background
1.1. about the IGF & BPFs
¶ 5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0 The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) at the United Nations is an open, global forum where different participants from various stakeholder groups – governments, the technical community, civil society, academia, and the private sector – discuss Internet Governance (IG) and policy issues, on equal footing. The Best Practice Forums (BPFs) at the IGF seek to collect, discuss, and disseminate the different “best practices” used by people and organizations around the world for different Internet Governance and policy issues. BPFs provide opportunities to learn from each other by sharing experiences – successes, as well as miscalculations.
¶ 7 Leave a comment on paragraph 7 0 IPv6 adoption was selected as a topic for a BPF in 2015 and 2016. While in the first year the BPF focused on best practices to create an environment favorable to IPv6 adoption, in 2016 the BPF explored commercial and economic incentives behind IPv6 deployment.
¶ 9 Leave a comment on paragraph 9 0 This introduction briefly recapitulates what IPv6 is and why it should be adopted, before giving a high level overview of the 2015 BPF IPv6 and presenting the scope and goals of the 2016 BPF IPv6.
1.2. Why deploy IPv6?
1.2.1. The Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6)
¶ 11 Leave a comment on paragraph 11 0 Generally speaking, devices connect to the Internet via numerical Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. An IP address is a numerical address (e.g., 126.96.36.199) used to identify devices on the Internet. The Internet’s legacy addressing system – Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) was created in the 1970s. The pool of IPv4 address numbers contains approximately four billion unique numbers. The growth and expansion of the Internet has virtually exhausted the IPv4 address pool.
¶ 13 Leave a comment on paragraph 13 0 A new Internet protocol, IPv6, was developed in 1995. One of the goals of IPv6 was to find a solution to deal with IPv4 address exhaustion. IPv6 addresses are longer in length: An IPv6 address is represented by eight (8) groups of hexadecimal values, separated by colons (:). The IPv6 address size is 128 bits, opposed to 32 bits in an IPv4 address. A bit is a digit in the binary numeral system and the basic unit for storing information.
¶ 14 Leave a comment on paragraph 14 0 The preferred IPv6 address representation is: xxxx:xxxx:xxxx:xxxx:xxxx:xxxx:xxxx:xxxx, where each x is a hexadecimal digit representing four (4) bits. “X” ranges from “0-9” or from “a-f.”
¶ 16 Leave a comment on paragraph 16 0 The IPv6 space is significantly larger in comparison to the IPv4 pool. The practical size of the IPv6 space can be equated roughly to 32 Billion times the size of the current IPv4-based Internet.
¶ 18 Leave a comment on paragraph 18 0 The adoption of IPv6 went very slow during the past decade. Today the global user adoption has reached 15%. If growth continues at the same rate like in the past 4 years, we will reach 50% in 2018.
1.2.2. Why Adopt IPv6?
¶ 19 Leave a comment on paragraph 19 0 The Internet’s sustainable growth depends on IPv6 adoption; the booming mobile market and the Internet of Things (IoT), alone, will require much more IP address space than is available with IPv4.
¶ 21 Leave a comment on paragraph 21 0 Anyone running the old protocol needs to adopt the new one in order to support the increasing demand on the global network as more people – and more machines and “things” – come online. IPv4 and IPv6 are two different protocols. IPv6 is not backwards compatible with IPv4. Devices that communicate using only IPv6 cannot communicate with devices that communicate using only IPv4.
¶ 23 Leave a comment on paragraph 23 0 Technologies – for example Network Address Translation (NAT) and Carrier Grade Network Address Translation (CGN) that allow different devices to share one IPv4 address – have been developed to extend the life of IPv4. Unused IPv4 address blocks are being traded on so-called secondary or aftermarkets. These efforts should be considered only as temporary solutions and come with their own costs and downsides. They are sometimes relied upon to forestall what is ultimately inevitable for a business, a government, or end users: IPv6 adoption.
¶ 25 Leave a comment on paragraph 25 0 Until recently, there has been little immediate benefit in deploying IPv6 and, in competitive terms, there was no “early adopter” advantage. However, now that more Internet users are connecting via IPv6, the immediate benefits of deploying the new protocol are gaining visibility, for example:
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- Content providers and publishers can see a direct performance benefit if traffic is delivered directly to the end user over IPv6 and no longer has to flow through NAT or CGN devices.
- Network operators will save on the operating and maintenance cost of NAT and CGN infrastructure.
- End users with IPv6-enabled devices can access content from IPv6-ready content providers with improved performance (provided that their ISP offers IPv6 services).
¶ 28 Leave a comment on paragraph 28 0 On 7 November 2016, the Internet Architecture Board (IAB) advised that network standards need to fully support IPv6. ‘The IAB expects that the IETF will stop requiring IPv4 compatibility in new or extended protocols’, and that ‘future IETF protocol work will then optimize for and depend on IPv6’. The IAB recommends ‘that all networking standards assume the use of IPv6, and be written so they do not require IPv4’ and ‘that existing standards be reviewed to ensure they will work with IPv6, and use IPv6 examples.’
¶ 30 Leave a comment on paragraph 30 0 A good planning can reduce the cost of IPv6 deployment to almost zero. IPv6 awareness at all relevant decision making levels and a good planning are key for a smooth IPv6 deployment. Many of the often mentioned ‘hurdles’ and costs, such as upgrading existing equipment and applications, will be minimal if they happen alongside the existing cycles to maintain or renew equipment. IPv6 should be a requirement for any new IT project or purchase.
1.3. Summary of the 2015 BPF ‘Creating and Enabling Environment for IPv6 Adoption’
¶ 32 Leave a comment on paragraph 32 0 The 2015 BPF on ‘Creating an Enabling Environment for IPv6 Adoption’ collected examples of initiatives that promote and support the deployment of IPv6. The different examples are situated in their own contexts. The success in terms of growth of IPv6 use in a certain region or environment will almost always be the result of a combination of initiatives, practices and other factors. Below is a short description of the types of initiatives that are discussed in the 2015 outcome document.
1.3.1. IPv6 task forces, a platform for best practices
¶ 33 Leave a comment on paragraph 33 0 Task forces can be organized ad hoc, by the community, or supported by government. They conduct various activities and serve various purposes: raising awareness about IPv6, providing advice on how to deploy IPv6, conducting outreach, developing fully-informed policy recommendations to the government that should result in their country seeing higher IPv6 use.
¶ 35 Leave a comment on paragraph 35 0 National IPv6 task forces often collaborate on a regional basis. Regional meetings enable participants to exchange information with members of other task forces who, while from different countries, may operate in similar cultural, economic, and regulatory environments.
¶ 36 Leave a comment on paragraph 36 0 Capacity-building on IPv6, both in terms of technical training for engineers and operators, and raising awareness for non-technical policymakers, law enforcement, and business decision-makers, is fundamental to creating an enabling environment for IPv6 adoption. Many different organizations, for profit and not-for-profit, provide IPv6 training, including the Regional Internet Registries (AFRINIC, APNIC, ARIN, LACNIC and RIPE NCC) and national research and education networks (NRENs).
¶ 38 Leave a comment on paragraph 38 0 The 2015 BPF noted that many people who are new to IPv6 wrongly think that they have to do everything at once and that too much new knowledge is needed, while on the contrary it is advised to break a deployment into smaller tasks and evaluate them step- by-step.
¶ 40 Leave a comment on paragraph 40 0 While most of the capacity-building focuses on network operators, IPv6 training for law enforcement officials, policymakers, and corporate-level (C-level) business decision- makers (e.g., CEOs, COOs, CFOs, etc.) is also important for creating an enabling environment for IPv6 adoption. It is important to:
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- build confidence at the decision-making level that IPv6 is “proven technology” and (perceived) risks are manageable;
- work with decision-makers directly to help them understand the importance of IPv6 deployment, at a level where they can make a meaningful risk assessment for their business;
- ensure that non-technical staff understand the long-term, positive effect of IPv6 deployment on their business goals (for example, enabling growth and the potential for reducing costs); and for product developers and marketing staff, clarify the benefits for organizations that adopt IPv6.
1.3.3. Lessons from the private sector
¶ 42 Leave a comment on paragraph 42 0 Discussions relating to best practices in the private sector – for ISPs and content providers in particular – resulted in a set of high-level suggestions. Planning for IPv6 deployment might begin with a review of existing infrastructure and an assessment of vendor IPv6 readiness.
¶ 44 Leave a comment on paragraph 44 0 Employee training is necessary; particularly in the case of technical employees but, depending on the business, for some non-technical personnel as well (e.g. customer service representatives).
¶ 46 Leave a comment on paragraph 46 0 As for IPv6 deployment, businesses should consider working from the outside in: deploying IPv6 via dual stack technology for public-facing services first, and then migrating to IPv6 on internal networks, second. To make the transition easier, they should set internal deadlines and engage with customers, keeping them notified, if not engaged, during the deployment process. Other approaches are also possible.
¶ 48 Leave a comment on paragraph 48 0 One policy option for encouraging IPv6 adoption that was suggested was for ISPs to use cost incentives, for example raising the price for IPv4, a scarce resource that is becoming costly to maintain, and providing IPv6 to the customer without extra charge. Finally, collaboration with others in deploying IPv6, as happened during the 2012 IPv6 World Launch, has shown to be effective.
1.3.4. Research and education networks and tertiary institutions
¶ 49 Leave a comment on paragraph 49 0 Many national research and education networks (NRENs) and tertiary institutions (like universities) have been running IPv6 in production on their networks for more than 10 years. They are important sources of knowledge and expertise on the subject. NRENs conduct valuable research on IPv6 and participate in the work at the IETF to develop RFCs. Universities can help promote IPv6 by supporting student research projects.
1.3.5. Government initiatives
¶ 50 Leave a comment on paragraph 50 0 Governments are in a powerful position to create an enabling environment for IPv6 adoption. They can lead by example by requiring the public administration to adopt IPv6. They can require IPv6 in ICT procurement policies which, in turn, obligates businesses tendering for government contracts to provide IPv6-capable products and services. The development of IPv6 profiles can assist public administration in its own procurement processes and evaluation of tenders, and requiring vendors to themselves use IPv6 results in businesses needing to be able to “walk the walk” – not only providing IPv6 services to their clients but running IPv6 themselves.
¶ 52 Leave a comment on paragraph 52 0 Submissions to the 2015 BPF on national deployment strategies featured different approaches, from working with the private sector on pilot projects that showcase best practices for the benefit of all, to organizing a national IPv6 launch with IPv6-ready groups, to creating a national IPv6 mandate across the public and private sectors. Governments can help industry by publishing an IPv6 adoption guide that tailors relevant information to different stakeholder groups. Collaboration with industry through government-supported national working groups, study groups, or outsourcing experiments to the private sector has yielded successful results.
1.3.6. IPv6 measurements – tracking success
¶ 53 Leave a comment on paragraph 53 0 IPv6 measurements are useful, illustrative tools that IPv6 advocates can use when engaging with policymakers. Measurements can also be used, of course, to gauge the effectiveness of a best practice. Measuring IPv6 usage before and after the implementation of a policy can help reveal that policy’s impact.
¶ 54 Leave a comment on paragraph 54 0 http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/documents/best-practice-forums/creating-an-enabling-environment-for-the-development-of-local-content/581-igf2015-bpfipv6-finalpdf/file