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Table 10-6 summarizes IPv6-enabled management tools, per management service area.
Network traffic monitoring
Ping, traceroute, SNMP, NetFlow
SNMP, Ping, Telnet, RSH
Network performance management
Ping, other traffic (UDP, TCP, and so on)
Cisco IP SLAs
Telnet, TFTP, RSH
Telnet, SSH, RSH, and so on
Ping, traceroute, SNMP, Telnet, RSH
In practice, managing an IPv6 network will vary significantly depending on the segment of the network being considered (site, access, core), on the tools strategy chosen (integrated NMS, standalone tools, home-made tools, and so on), and on the coexistence strategy with IPv4 (dual-stack network managed mostly with IPv4, separation between IPv4 and IPv6, IPv6-only networks).
Given the state of IPv6 management tools and products, there is no one-fits-all solution. Integrated NMSs rely mostly on MIBs, which are not all ready for IPv6 deployment. In addition, many tools used in the IPv4 environments have not yet been migrated to IPv6.
Managing dual-stack networks using a mixture of IPv4 tools (for instance, for topology discovery) and tools providing some IPv6 support sounds like a viable deployment approach today. So far in this book, the recommendation has been to avoid differentiating IPv4 and IPv6 as much as possible when operated in a dual-stack network. Network management does not deviate from this rule. Most events generating alerts and triggering network-management actions should remain applicable when IPv6 is deployed: host down, link down, traffic threshold, service anomalies, performance anomalies, and so on. For IPv6-specific alerts and corresponding actions, tools do exist that complement well the panoply.
Network simulation tools, such as OPNET, Qualnet, NS-2, OMNeT++, and so on, are available for validating the IPv6 network design and the impact of deploying IPv6 in an existing IPv4 network. These tools offer either built-in IPv6 capabilities or some flexible way to simulate IPv6 mechanisms.
Managing IPv6-only networks or simply IPv6-only devices coexisting with IPv4-only and dual-stack devices appears to be problematic. It may require deploying a combination of specialized tools, home-made tools, and an NMS providing some IPv6 support (HP OverView, CiscoWorks). Even so, lack of full IPv6 MIB support and other issues reviewed in the chapter might lead to management areas poorly covered. Over time, IPv6 MIBs are going to be available and supported by the NMS.
IPv6-only networks are going to be a reality sooner than later. For these networks, IPv6 network-management parity with IPv4 in terms of MIBs and management tools will be a primary requirement.
Finally, you cannot assume that IPv6 deployments will fully match IPv4 deployments in terms of behavior, requirements, issues, and, consequently, management tools. IPv6 can introduce new management methods and strategies. Easier and more automatic renumbering, for instance, is likely to influence current network-management approaches; it could lead to new tools while obsolescing others.
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