BY THE NUMBERS: Lack of IPv6 traffic stats makes judging progress difficult
It is important to have an open line of communication between the contributors and their TA lead, and likewise between the TA leads and you. You will undoubtedly run into scope questions that will force you to draw a line in the sand as a particular component may not clearly fall in or out of scope.
Don't bite off more than you can chew in the first transition phase. Rather, just focus on the minimal subset of components needed to meet your Phase 1 goal. Everything else can be addressed during the second phase, after you already have a successful first phase transition under your belt.
Once all the worksheets are completed and turned in, you can use them to paint a picture of IPv6 readiness across the enterprise, and to reveal exactly what you will need to do to execute the rollout. This picture is critical in the next step of your IPv6 rollout.
If your organization is like most, you will probably be pleasantly surprised to find that many of your components are ready to support IPv6 with only minor changes, and that very little (if any) capital expenditure will be required. The main reason for this is the fact that vendors have been rolling out support for IPv6 for the past 10 years or so, and most organizations will have already been incorporating this support over the past few cycles.
With IPv6 readiness fully assessed, you are now equipped to dive in and begin planning and executing the rollout.
Plan and execute
It is now time for the fun part: planning and executing your transition. In this task, you will use the information gathered to develop a step-by-step plan for making the transition happen. There is nothing magical or mysterious about this step. Like any other project, proper management and organization are going to be keys to success.
The first thing to do is to sit down with your TA leads, either as a group or individually, and create a complete list of all the steps necessary to enable IPv6 in the various parts of the enterprise as revealed in the component worksheets. With all the steps listed, start identifying dependencies and milestones, and begin to develop a timeline. You may be thinking, "This seems a lot like Project Management 101," and you would be absolutely right! There is nothing magical or mysterious about this step.
You will come to rely even more heavily on your TA leads and TA contributors as you plan and execute the transition. They will be responsible for coming up with the configurations and actually enabling IPv6 across the enterprise. Use the same people who filled out the reconnaissance worksheets to build and implement the required changes.
What follows is essentially a list, in no particular order, of lessons learned and key things to watch out for as you plan and execute the transition:
● Identify any requirement that may need capital funding up front. This may be hardware or software upgrades, training, or new systems. Where upgrades are necessary, if you can get capital funding, plan for native IPv6. If you can't get capital funding, you may have to come up with another plan for that component, such as an alternate transition mechanism (for example, tunneling or translation).
● Lab and/or prototype testing should be performed whenever possible. Begin lining up the resources early, such as lab space, vendor demo gear, etc.