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Deploy360 18 October 2017

IPv6 prefix assignment BCOP published as RIPE-690

By Kevin MeynellFormer Senior Manager, Technical and Operational Engagement

We’re pleased to announce that after a year of intensive work by IPv6 experts around the world, supported by the Deploy360 team, the RIPE community has reached consensus on the Best Current Operational Practices (BCOP) for IPv6 prefix assignment for end-users – persistent vs non persistent and what size to choose. These were officially published as RIPE-690 this week.

RIPE-690 outlines best current operational practices for the assignment of IPv6 prefixes (i.e. a block of IPv6 addresses) for end-users, as making wrong choices when designing an IPv6 network will eventually have negative implications for deployment and require further effort such as renumbering when the network is already in operation. In particular, assigning IPv6 prefixes longer than /56 to residential customers is strongly discouraged, with /48 recommended for business customers. This will allow plenty of space for future expansion and sub-netting without the need for renumbering, whilst persistent prefixes (i.e. static) should be highly preferred for simplicity, stability and cost reasons.

The target audience of RIPE-690 is technical staff working in ISPs and other network operators who currently provide or intend to provide IPv6 services to residential or business end-users. Up until now, there have been no clear recommendations on how to assign IPv6 prefixes to customers, and a variety of different and sometimes problematic solutions have been implemented.

By bringing together subject matter experts with practical deployment experience, it’s been possible to identify common practices and problems, and provide recommended solutions to some of the more commonly encountered issues.

The authors of the document were Jan Žorž, Sander Steffann, Primož Dražumerič, Mark Townsley, Andrew Alston, Gert Doering, Jordi Palet, Jen Linkova, Luis Balbinot, Kevin Meynell and Lee Howard. Other contributors were Nathalie Kunneke-Trenaman, Mikael Abrahamsson, Jason Fesler, Martin Levy, Ian Dickinson, Philip Homburg, Ivan Pepelnjak, Matthias Kluth, Ondřej Caletka, Nick Hilliard, Paul Hoffman, Tim Chown, Nurul Islam, Yannis Nikolopoulos and Marco Hogewoning.

The document was submitted to the RIPE BCOP Task Force and then to the RIPE IPv6 Working Group, as part of the Internet community feedback and consensus building process. Thanks should go the Chairs of those groups who ensured the recommendations do conform with actual best operational practice, along with the RIPE NCC staff who facilitated the publishing process.

So now there are some agreed stable recommendations for IPv6 prefix assignment for end-users, we’d ask all network operators to read and consider the document when deploying IPv6 to your customers.

And as always, please visit Deploy360’s Start Here page to find resources on how to get started with IPv6.

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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