Day One: Exploring IPv6

The impending exhaustion of IPv4 addresses is prompting many network operators to take a closer look at ways to provide more address space, including IPv6 and Large Scale NAT.

When deploying IPv6, you can gain a great advantage by using Juniper Networks high-end routers because IPv6 has been implemented directly in the ASICs (Application-Specific Integrated Circuit). Having IPv6 compatibility in the hardware means that IPv6 packets can be forwarded at line rate – unlike many competing routers. Additionally, the Junos OS makes configuring and troubleshooting an IPv6 network a snap. As you read this booklet and work through the topics in your lab, you’ll progressively gain a fuller understanding of IPv6 configuration and operation in Junos. The layered, methodical progression provided will get you up to speed on this crucial networking technology quickly and easily.

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About the Author(s)

Chris Grundemann specializes in the design, implementation, and operation of large IP, Ethernet and Wireless Ethernet networks.

Author Q & A

What got you started on this book?

My friend and Juniper RE, Nate Day and I had been talking about writing a book for Juniper about the time that the Day One project got launched. I looked over the list of potential topics and when I saw that there was not an author for IPv6 yet - I jumped on it. I think that this topic is extremely important and will only become more so over the next two to three years as available IPv4 addresses are all put into use and IPv6 networks become more and more necessary for an increasing number of organizations.

Who is this book for?

The book is for network engineers who are new to IPv6 or those with IPv6 experience who are new to JUNOS. I tried to balance making the booklet approachable for those just getting their feet wet and useful for those with more experience who just need a refresher of a quick reference.

After reading this book, what will the reader learn or know?

The book covers all the basics you need to fully implement IPv6 on a typical LAN network. From understanding IPv6 addresses and the IPv6 protocol to neighbor discovery and IGP routing, after reading the booklet you should be completely capable of configuring a simple IPv6 network.

What do you recommend as the next item to read after this book? What are your plans for more?

I am about to start working on another Day One booklet; Advanced IPv6 which will cover BGP, VRRP and a few other more advanced topics, so once that comes out it will be a great next step! There are also numerous references to IPv6 in all of Juniper Networks technical documentation and you can also skim through the IETF RFCs.

What was your inspiration?

I do a lot of work with ARIN (American Registry for Internet Numbers) and ISOC (Internet Society) in addition to my “day job” as a network architect and those organizations are extremely involved in accelerating the adoption of IPv6 before IPv4 exhaustion becomes a real problem for the growth of the Internet. Since we (Internet users as a community) are quickly approaching that time, I thought it was important to help in this small way.

What’s your favorite bit/part in the book?

That’s a tough question - as a first time author, it feels a bit like asking which of my kids is my favorite - the truth is that I worked very hard to make the entire book easy to read and full of valuable information. Hopefully I got close to that mark through much of it! I would really rather hear what all the readers favorite parts are, so that I can make the next one better.

How hard was it to write? Tell us how and when you wrote it?

I really enjoyed the process of writing a “real” book. Having editors is a great feeling, like walking the high rope with a net. Really the hardest part for me was starting, once I got going it kind of took on a life of its own. It is definitely work and I spent a lot of days off hacking away at my keyboard to get it done but overall it was a great experience and I can’t wait to do it again.

Did you create a test bed for the book? How much set up did it take?

Actually some co-workers and I had, within the past year or so, passed the JNCIP and JNCIE tests. In order to accomplish this, my friend and fellow Engineer Mark Calkins built a great test bed to study on and so I just re-used that while writing the book. I had to write all of the IPv6 configurations of course but the physical work of assembling the hardware and cabling everything up had been done for me! I could not have written the book without the test-bed, being able to build the network I was describing proved invaluable.

Who tech reviewed your book?

Becca Nitzan

Who would you like to thank?

I would like to thank Nate Day for putting me in the right place at the right time to write this book, Mark Calkins for building the test bed on which my example network is built, Patrick Ames and Cathy Gadecki for supporting the project and editing my work, Becca Nitzan for providing great technical reviews throughout the process, Scott Hogg for reviewing the booklet and perhaps most importantly; my family for supporting me as I spent time working on the book. Thank you all!