Authors: Shannon McFarland, Muninder Sambi, Nikhil Sharma, and Sanjay Hooda
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Cisco Press (April 2011)
ISBN – 10: 1-58714-227-9
ISBN – 13: 978-1-58714-227-7
List Price: $65.00; Amazon: $51.23
Reviewed by Jeff Owen, Independent IT Consultant
IPv4 has officially run out of assignable address space, so if you aren’t currently engaged in some level of implementing IPv6 odds are that you will be soon. This book is a guide for introducing and implementing IPv6 into the enterprise network.
Truth be known, IPv6 has been around for several years and may already exist in your network without your knowledge. It has been the protocol of choice for some operating systems (e.g. Windows 7) for a while and it is already everywhere around the world. However, with the announcement by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) that they exhausted the address pool in February of this year, interest in IPv6 has swollen. This book is a guide for networking professionals through the various options of implementing IPv6.
This is a well laid out book that will be useful to not only learn about various issues and implementation strategies for IPv6, but also as an ongoing reference. Divided into 12 chapters, the book starts with an overview of the market drivers for IPv6 such as IPv4 address space exhaustion, operating system support, government regulations, and infrastructure evolution. This background is helpful in understanding the need for IPv6. Chapter 2 provides a review of hierarchical network design, including general design principals and discussions on core, campus, services, data center, and edge network design issues. Chapter 3 discusses some common IPv6 transition mechanisms including native IPv6 and coexistence with IPv4 via dual-stack, IPv6 over IPv4 tunneling, IPv6 over MPLS, NAT-PT, and NAT64. Chapter 4 discusses the need for network services beyond the need to simply transmit data. These include multicasting, Quality of Service (QoS), and routing protocols used with IPv6. Chapter 5 provides steps for planning an IPv6 deployment such as where to begin, cost/benefit analysis, building a deployment team, using a pilot, and address allocation. Chapters 7, 8, 9, &10 provide more detailed discussions on deploying IPv6 in campus networks, virtualized networks, WAN/Branch networks, Data Center networks, and Remote Access VPNs, respectively. Chapter 11 is on managing the IPv6 network. It includes an overview of the Fault, Configuration, Accounting, Performance, and Security (FCAPS) management framework; IPv6 management applications; IPv6 network instrumentation; and IPv6 traffic monitoring tools. Chapter 12 closes the book with an admonition to go slow, or as the authors said, “walk before running.” Here they suggest building and utilizing a test lab both before implementing IPv6 and afterward as means to test different network configurations, addressing schemes, management tools, etc.
Although this book assumes the reader is familiar with IPv6 and networking it is a useful guide and ongoing reference for anyone implementing, or planning to implement, IPv6 in their organization. As such it can help in your evaluation of, planning for, implementation and ongoing management/maintenance of an IPv6 network. It includes Website link information (e.g. ICANN and IANA URLs, IETF RCFs, other Cisco and Microsoft documentation) where appropriate in the text either as reference and additional reading.
Jeff Owen is an independent consultant with 30+ years experience in telecommunications/networking and IT. He has worked in engineering, project management, and management positions for major corporations in the telecommunications, finance, aerospace, and IT consultancy industries. As an industry analyst for Datapro and Gartner, Owen authored numerous analytical reports published for international consumption. He can be reached at email@example.com