How to think about converting applications to IPv6

One area which may create problems for enterprises wishing to deploy IPv6 is application conversion.  Some conversions may be quite simple while strategies for others will need to be carefully considered and will take time.

If you help us by taking this survey, then we can help by writing best practices or strategies for the issues that many organizations face.

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* 1. What kind of organization are you?  We want to make sure we have a cross-section of industry as well as small and large organizations.

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* 2. What is the size of your internal network?  This applies to devices that you manage.  (Not external clients or business partners)

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* 3. How do you host, use or access applications? Check all that apply.

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* 4. If you allow Internet access from within your enterprise, please check all that apply.  Otherwise, select "Do not allow ...".

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* 5. If you allow Internet access, do you use a proxy?

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* 6. What are the application platforms you use?   These may be hosted on physical servers or in the cloud.

Check all that apply.

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* 7. The cost or feasibility of application conversion is highest for applications which the enterprise has written themselves and are stand alone programs.   Such programs can provide great functional value, maybe even give you a business advantage! How many do you think you might have of these?

If you are a socket developer or love the technical details, please read the following explanation of why such programs may potentially take some time to convert.  Otherwise, feel free to skip the rest of this explanation.

From IPv4 to IPv6:
  • the format and length of the IPv4 address and IPv6 address are different
  • the socket structure is different
  • the number and type of interfaces are different
  • loopback addresses are different
  • inaddr_any (listening on all interfaces may lead to undesired / unexpected results)
  • DNS resolution commands are different
How many standalone, home-grown programs might you have?

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* 8. IP addresses are embedded and used in surprising places.  This can lead to much time needed as well as time to test.  For example, some applications, such as FTP embed IP addresses.   This is often handled perfectly well by Extended Passive Mode (EPSV).  But, an old FTP client may not be able to do this.

IP addresses may also be used inside TLS certificates in the Alternate Subject Name or ID field. Applications, such as MQSeries, have a client configuration which has an IP address.   Some organizations give a unique IP address to each application, for example, within an IBM mainframe.  This can help with workload balancing as well as disaster recovery.  But, it will also lead to time needed for conversion.   

We have also added a number of other places where IP addresses may be embedded.

Do any of these apply to you?  Check all that apply.

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* 9. The operational aspects of applications may involve hard-coding or embedding IP addresses.  This can lead to much time needed to convert as well as time to test. 

Do you have operational or other procedures / scripts to manage your applications which embed or use IP addresses? These may be manual or automated procedures. These procedures may invoke or connect with other applications to send emails, alerts, SNMP traps, etc.

Some examples include: bat files, .sh scripts, automated operations, automated message interception, and screen scraping.

Do any of these apply to you?  Check all that apply.

In considering this question, think only of your normal production sites.   Such procedures may also be used for Disaster Recovery, Mirroring, Hot or Cold Backup sites.  Those will be addressed in the next question.

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* 10. Many of the operational aspects of applications also applies to Disaster Recovery, Mirroring, or Hot/Cold standby sites.  (We will use the shorthand of DRMHCS sites to refer to these.)

If you have hard-coded or embedded IP addresses in these procedures, then you will need to convert and test them as well.   Such procedures may be used to do the disaster recovery or backup itself.

So in considering the below, apply this to sites other than the normal production sites.

Do any of these apply to you?  Check all that apply.

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* 11. You may have customized screens for viewing vendor provided products.  In particular, applications used by the network operations or diagnostics groups may display IP addresses.  This will lead to time needed to reformat the screens. 

Do any of these apply to you?  Check all that apply.

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* 12. You may have multiple tiers of servers / equipment / clusters.  For example, you may have a firewall cluster, load balancers, database servers.  These may use IP addresses in their configuration to point to the members of the group or cluster rather than DNS names.  Changing these will lead to time to configure and test. 

Do any of these apply to you?  Check all that apply.

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* 13. One of the hardest and time consuming problems to conquer is if you have external clients or business partners who must also convert.  Their schedule and priorities may not match yours.

Does  this apply to you?

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* 14. Do you have any other comments for us?

0 of 14 answered
 

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