Deploy360 6 June 2014

Mexico's AXTEL Provides Excellent IPv6 Lessons Learned And Recommendations

By Dan YorkDirector, Internet Technology

What are the key lessons AXTEL, Mexico’s second-largest telecommunications operator, learned in deploying IPv6 across their network?  What did they do?  What do they wish they’d known before they got started?  In an excellent case study we’ve published from AXTEL this week, they walk through the phases they went through in planning their deployment of IPv6 and then get into their lessons learned and recommendations. Their slides are available for viewing:

AXTEL IPv6 case study cover image

As far as the lessons they’ve learned, their “In Retrospective” section states that if they could return to the beginning of their IPv6 project, they wish they could have had:

  • More insight regarding how each of our different equipment providers were doing towards their evolution to IPv6.
  • The possibility to talk to another provider that had already implemented IPv6 in their network and learn from their experiences.
  • Support from our providers with people/team that had hands-on experience in an IPv6 evolution project.
  • To have had IPv6 support, even years before the beginning of the project; as a required functionality in all or our network and IT equipment requirements.

The advantage to people starting now is that there are examples of service providers who have implemented IPv6 and there are people who other service providers can speak with.  To that point, Cesar Joel Ramirez Garcia, an author of this case study from Axtell, said in a message that he’s glad to receive questions from other network operators about what they’ve done.

In the case study they go on to provide their recommendations for other companies seeking to move to IPv6:

  1. Communicate to all company levels the urgency and importance of IPv6 evolution.
  2. IPv6 is a primarily a business continuity case.
  3. Test in a lab environment all your IPv6 deployment scenarios
  4. Begin IPv6 training in all the different technical, sales and marketing teams ASAP.
  5. Evaluate the necessity of running a network audit or assessment to know where your network stands regarding IPv6.
  6. Join in technology forums and ask other people about their experience in the IPv6 evolution.
  7. Work closely with your equipment providers.
  8. Implement double stack wherever possible.
  9. Avoid NAT techniques wherever possible.
  10. Don’t be afraid of the IPv6 transition; as with many things the beginning is the toughest part.

These are great recommendations and we certainly commend Cesar and the rest of the AXTEL team on the work they have done so far as well as the work they are continuing to look at about how to expand IPv6 further in their networks.  Now that they have business and VPN customers using IPv6 they are now looking at the best ways to get IPv6 connectivity to all their residential customers.  All of that will help Mexico move ahead in having an Internet that will work even better in the future as more people and devices come online!

What are you waiting for?   If you would like to join AXTEL and many other service providers with moving to the production Internet, please visit our IPv6 resources or begin with our “Start Here” page to help find resources most appropriate for your type of organization.

Congratulations, again, to AXTEL for both their deployment of IPv6 as well as their willingness to share their story so that others may learn! Thank you!

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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