IPv6 hardware considerations

Posted on 2010-01-06
Last Modified: 2012-05-08

Considering and upcoming IPv4 to IPv6 transition, I'm concerned with IPv6 hardware compatibility on my current networking appliances.

I understand the corporate firewall routers will all need to be equipped with firmware that can handle IPv6 addressing.  From there, what keywords should I consider for the following equipment:

Switches - what keywords indicate IPv6 compatibility for switches?

Networked Printers, or any ethernet card - will each ethernet card employed on the network need to be inspected for IPv6 compatibility?  How much of this is card-based compatibility, and how much is OS-dependent?

WiFi - are certain WiFi networks IPv6 compliant as well?  Simply stated as IPv6?

Applications - what are some examples of corporate applications that would need to be IPv6 compatible?  We run an web application, and I'm guessing this is one that will need inspection.  From a network and systems admin perspective, what should I consider?

Home Offices - I'm sure we will need to go standard on IPv6 routers for our home users.  What about the modems that are offered by their Internet provider?  Again, do I need to ensure any switch or printer is IPv6 compatibile?

Further considertions:  We plan to change all domain controllers to Server 2008 R2, then begin to upgrade all network hardware to rollout Direct Access.  I have overviewed Direct Access rollout considerations, so this discussion is simply hardware-based (besides the network applications question).

Thanks for your help, it is much appreciated -

Question by:mattguil
    LVL 3

    Accepted Solution

    Switches are layer 2 devices and will be independent of IPV6 transitioning.  Assuming your ISP is going to for IPV6 on you, you'll have to get a router that supports it, but you can keep IPV4 on the inside using a proxy, or you can do tunneling.

    If you are going to be doing a IPV6 conversion, everything facing the outside world is going to want to be IPV6 compliant. If you have web servers directly connected to the web, those NICs are going to have to support IPV6. If you have a load balancer in front of the web servers, it is going to have to support IPV6.

    I would do a gradual transition though, with a proxy in front or with some tunneling. It's not something I've ever known anyone to just hop right into.
    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    Thanks for the comment.  If I understand you correctly, switch replacement does not need to be a consideration for IPv6 transition?  All I really need to consider is ISP IPv6 capabilities, and then my corporate firewall\router devices...

    Yes, we are planningto run a proxy to enable a gradual transition.

    thanks again - Gil
    LVL 34

    Assisted Solution

    by:Istvan Kalmar
    yes, only L3 devices need to upgrade!

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