Ensuring a Successful IPv6 Transition with OPNET
Over the past few years, organizations have been anticipating the need to migrate their current IPv4 network infrastructure to IPv6. For many, the time has finally arrived. The availability of IPv4 32-bit network addresses is significantly constrained and, as a result, the US Office of Management and Budget has mandated that all government agencies be IPv6 compliant by June 2008. IPv6 offers an expanded IP address space, as well as integrated security and mobility, enhanced equipment auto-configuration, and many other useful features.
According to numerous industry analysts, migration to IPv6 is a major network transition that requires considerable planning. Errors could result in costly network outages, security gaps, and application performance problems. A few of the questions that need to be addressed when developing a strategy are:
Careful planning is critical to ensuring a successful transition. Employing an incremental approach, the existing IPv4 network is sub-divided into smaller, more manageable portions. Each is transitioned separately to minimize risk to the overall network. This migration involves two phases:
Network design software can accelerate network migration and mitigate associated risks. Automated workflows provide important value to the users whose practical experience with IPv6 is necessarily limited. Software can validate equipment compatibility quickly and efficiently. OPNET software solutions support these requirements.
OPNET IT Guru Network Planner Facilitates IPv6 Migration
OPNET IT Guru Network Planner leverages topology, device configuration, and traffic information from the operational network to create a realistic model of the production infrastructure. The virtual network model accurately represents the behavior of the entire network. Embedded in OPNET algorithms is expert knowledge about how network devices, protocols, applications, and systems interact. This intelligence enables users to quickly identify the root causes of problems and to predict the impact of changes before costly mistakes are made. OPNET IT Guru Network Planner advanced analytics encompass survivability analysis, configuration validation, capacity planning, VoIP readiness, traffic engineering, vulnerability assessment, and much more.
IPv6 Network Readiness Assessment
Automated IPv6 Network Design
A custom migration strategy is created on the fly by leveraging the configuration information collected from the operational network. The strategy can recommend a combination of capacity and configuration changes, equipment enhancements, and use of tunnels and dual-stacked devices to ensure that network performance is preserved after migration. The user can also make manual adjustments to the proposed configuration in the virtual network environment to determine their impact prior to deployment. The new network configuration undergoes a comprehensive survivability analysis to verify that backup strategies are set up correctly such that no one device or link failure compromises the resiliency of the overall network. As a final step, a non-intrusive vulnerability assessment can be conducted to ensure that security mechanisms have been correctly configured.
About OPNET Technologies, Inc.