Deploy360 11 January 2012

New Internet-Draft: IPv6 Guidance for Internet Content and Application Service Providers

By Dan YorkDirector, Internet Technology

What should Internet Content Providers and Applications Service Providers be thinking about with regard to IPv6? That’s what Brian Carpenter and Sheng Jiang set out to capture in an Internet-Draft titled “IPv6 Guidance for Internet Content and Application Service Providers” and available at:

From the introduction to the document:

The deployment of IPv6 [RFC2460] is now in progress, and users with
no IPv4 access are likely to appear in increasing numbers in the
coming years. Any provider of content or application services over
the Internet will need to arrange for IPv6 access or else risk losing
large numbers of potential customers. The time for action is now,
while the number of such customers is small, so that appropriate
skills, software and equipment can be acquired in good time to scale
up the IPv6 service as demand increases.

It is important that the introduction of IPv6 service should not make
service for IPv4 customers worse. In some circumstances,
technologies intended to assist in the transition from IPv4 to IPv6
are known to have negative effects on the user experience. A
deployment strategy for IPv6 must avoid these effects as much as

The purpose of this document is to provide guidance and suggestions
for Internet Content Providers (ICPs) and Application Service
Providers (ASPs) who wish to offer their services to both IPv6 and
IPv4 customers. For simplicity, the term ICP is mainly used in the
body of this document, but the guidance also applies to ASPs. Any
enterprise or department that runs at least one externally accessible
server, such as an HTTP server, may also be concerned. Although
specific managerial and technical approaches are described, this is
not a rule book; each provider will need to make its own plan,
tailored to its own services and customers.

The document provides useful guidance for content providers and application service providers and is definitely worth a review.

Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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