AT&T* today said it is providing consulting services to help businesses of all sizes transition to Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6), The company also outlined the steps it has taken to make its own network and services ready to make the shift to IPv6.
AT&T is actively consulting with companies in response to the exploding growth in mobile applications, machine-to-machine computing, and peer-to-peer applications that is creating a need for IP addresses that goes well beyond the 4.3 billion addresses currently available with today’s internet protocol version (IPv4).
“In the not-too-distant future, everything from mobile phones and PCs to automobiles, gaming stations and home appliances will be assigned its own unique Internet IPv6 addresses,” said Dale McHenry, vice president of Enterprise Data Networks at AT&T. “Each of these devices will be trying to connect over IPv6 to corporate URLs,” he said. “Businesses need to realize the importance of early action and start planning their transition,” said McHenry.
Drawing on its extensive experience meeting IPv6 requirements for the US government, AT&T is offering a full suite of consulting services to assist customers with IPv6 readiness and transition – including webcasts, (tune into the webinar Take Control of your IPv6 Transition), providing access to its IPv6-enabled Proof of Concept Labs, and for-fee engagements that help companies establish an inventory of their entire IT infrastructure and develop a plan to methodically enable IPv6 on the company’s network infrastructure.
“Taking proper actions to have an early presence on IPv6 is critical for businesses,” said McHenry. “As the shift to this protocol happens, businesses without IPv6 internet presence run the risk of a ‘blind spot’ in their web services access,” he added.
To ensure companies are prepared, AT&T is encouraging businesses to:
- Start with Internet facing services. Establish an IPv6 Internet presence.
- Perform a readiness assessment. Identify non-IPv6 compliant hosts, servers, applications, carrier services, and network equipment that are used to provide both internal and external IP services.
- Define IPv6 transition timelines incorporating testing and piloting of IPv6 functionality.
- Assess current IPv4 footprint and identify likely IPv6 triggers — private exhaust, mobile, public exhaust, customers, partners.
- Upgrade infrastructure for “dual stack” IP services that support both IPv4 and IPv6.
- Address application enablement for internet facing services — management and security model are keys.
AT&T IPv6 Readiness Plans
AT&T has invested millions of dollars to ensure that its own network and services are ready to make the transition to the new Internet protocol.
Having performed a complete product and infrastructure assessment, identified necessary steps, and developed platform and product specific strategies, AT&T is now employing a variety of tactics — ranging from aggressively conserving/reclaiming addresses to full-scale upgrading of infrastructure— to minimize risk and customer impacts.
Since 2006, AT&T has been preparing for this transition. AT&T has:
- Started transitioning its own Enterprise, Consumer and Mobility services to IPv6.
- Created a separate corporate program office to manage the transition in alignment with global IPv4 address exhaust scenarios.
- Enabled IPv6 for use with AT&T Virtual Private Network Service (AT&T VPN) and AT&T Managed Internet Services (MIS) for sites in the US today. IPv6 is also enabled for use with AT&T VPN and MIS in additional countries today and is projected to be available to the majority of AT&T’s global network footprint in 2011. In addition, IPv6 will be enabled on many of AT&T’s ‘IP add-on’ services such as remote access, hosting, managed premises equipment, and VoIP through the course of 2011.
For more information on AT&T’s IPv6 experience and how AT&T Consulting can help businesses draw up a strong IPv6 strategy, select AT&T IPv6 Consulting Services.