Sander Steffann

Preparing an IPv6 Addressing Plan

Sander Steffann
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In the fall of 2010 SURFnet, the Dutch National Research and Education Network, held a workshop on IPv6. One of the issues that arose was making an IPv6 addressing plan. While this seems a simple subject at first, it turned out to be more complex. SURFnet decided to document best practices and make the results freely available.


SURFnet held a workshop with its customers (universities, schools) about IPv6. There was one session about making an addressing plan for IPv6 deployment. 'With so much address space, it can't be difficult to give every network some addresses'. It turned out that different organisations had different ideas about how to do this. After realising that making an addressing plan takes more thought than expected, I was asked to help by Rogier Spoor from Surfnet. I went to two universities that were already deploying IPv6 to talk about their experiences. Based on that (and my own experience of course), I wrote this document for SURFnet. I never expected that there would be such a high demand for it .


An addressing plan using the IPv4 system limits the options available to an organisation, because there are relatively few IPv4 addresses still available. This is why the IPv4 addressing system is based on efficient address assignment. If you apply for an IPv6 address range, most Local Internet Registries (LIRs) will allocate 2 80 addresses. This is such a huge amount that efficiency virtually ceases to be an issue. This is why it is worthwhile adopting an IPv6 addressing plan: a system in which you assign the IPv6 addresses to locations and/or use types.

In an efficient IPv6 addressing plan, the IPv6 addressing ranges are grouped effectively and logically. This has several advantages, including:

  • Security policies are easier to implement, such as the configuration of access lists and firewalls
  • Addresses are easier to trace: the address contains information about the use type or location where the address is in use
  • An efficient addressing plan is scalable: it can be expanded, for example, to include new locations or use types
  • An efficient IPv6 addressing plan also enables more efficient network management

This manual will show you how to prepare an effective IPv6 addressing plan. In making that plan, you will need to make a number of important choices. Please think carefully about these choices to ensure that the addressing plan will meet the requirements of your organisation. The manual will provide suggestions to help you to make the right choices.

Please read the full document here: Preparing an IPv6 Addressing Plan

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About the author

Sander Steffann Based in Apeldoorn, NL

I started working in the Internet industry in 1995, when I helped to start up Computel Standby BV. I supported Computel while I was a student at Universiteit Twente. Computel started in Apeldoorn (NL) as a small ISP, started the foundation, and has grown into a server management company with its own small datacenter. I became a RIPE Address Policy Working Group chair in May 2007, mostly because I am interested in the future of the Internet and I like to participate in things I believe are important. I stayed in that position until 2018. In March 2010 I started my own consultancy company. I am focused on internet infrastructure related subjects such as IPv6, routing and security. I have done consultancy projects on all levels, from advising on the technical IPv6 road map and addressing plan for a Dutch bank to hands-on deployment of new technology in ISP networks and data centres. Since 2021 my main customer is 6connect, where I work on anything from anycast deployments to network discovery and automation integration. Specialties: All Internet related technology, including networking (service provider and enterprise), security, application development. My favourite activity is researching and implementing innovating technologies. Implementing IPv6 and dealing with the current shortage of IPv4 addresses is my main focus area in this regard.

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