25 August 2022 | 7 min read | Beatričė Raščiūtė
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Heficed IP Address Market to IPXO Marketplace: IP Migration is Complete!

When we planned the migration of IP resources from the Heficed IP Address Market to the IPXO Marketplace, we couldn't have predicted how rewarding and interesting this challenge would be. Continue reading to learn all about the process.

A briefcase with IPv4 written on it representing IPv4 address migration.

The migration of internet numbers – Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) addresses – from the Heficed IP Address Market to the IPXO Marketplace was a massive task that the IPXO team has executed successfully. IPXO transferred a whopping 1,716,224 IPv4 addresses from one platform to another. But why did we need to perform IP migration?

Before the launch of the Heficed IP Address Market at the end of 2019, the company offered infrastructure services, including cloud and bare-metal servers. As the two sides of the company became increasingly more unique, a new brand was born. Eventually, on August 31, 2021, the IPXO Marketplace was launched. On July 5, 2022, after months of careful planning and preparations, we finally moved all IPv4 addresses from the Heficed platform to IPXO.

IPv4 migration timeline from Heficed launch to end of migration.
IPv4 migration from the Heficed IP Address Market to the IPXO Marketplace timeline

Now that you know the reason behind IP migration from Heficed to IPXO, let’s dive deep into the process and how we managed it internally.

What is IP migration?

IP address migration is the transfer of IP addresses between locations. For example, migration of IPs to another environment, like a web server or a data center. This process may sound simple at first, but there are a lot of important details to consider.

First of all, it is crucial to plan how many IP addresses and what servers must be migrated. If a business needs to transfer a large number of addresses, the process may take longer and require additional configurations to the environments involved.

To ensure a successful IP address migration process, the company may choose to conduct the transfer during non-business hours or during the weekends so as to minimize the negative effect of network outages. Alternatively, it is possible to set a specific time and date and notify everyone involved that the network will be down due to migration. An organization may also carry out migration during business hours if servers and IPs are not involved in critical activities.

Needless to say, if an organization manages a lot of important data that needs to be transferred during the migration, it must create a backup to prevent loss of data. That is because the loss of such data may have a negative effect on both the company itself and its customers.

No pain, no gain: IP addresses migration can improve networks

Despite the complex process, the reward, ultimately, outweighs the struggle. IP address migration can help improve network management of almost any enterprise or organization. If the old infrastructure does not have the functions or features necessary for successful business operations, the company can move its IP address space to a new infrastructure. 

Moreover, if you move IP address blocks to a bigger data center, you can increase the quality of your services, reduce network maintenance costs and improve the efficiency of websites. Also, if you decide to move to a cloud server, you do not need to spend additional costs on physical infrastructure.

That said, efficient IP migration involves a lot of thorough planning and data processing.

IPv4 address migration from Heficed to IPXO

IP migration from the Heficed IP Address Market to the IPXO Marketplace was a long and complex process that required a lot of effort and teamwork. How did our team manage to transfer almost two million IP addresses successfully? Let’s review the process.

Preparing for IP migration

We began the migration process by planning which subnets must be transferred first. We decided to start with the least complicated subnets, like /24s (256 IPv4 addresses), and finish with the most difficult ones, like /15s (131,072 IPv4 addresses).

A chart representing subnet and IP address migration process in percentage.
Subnet and IP address migration process in %

Also, we did not move all IP addresses at once but decided to conduct the migration in several stages. 31 to be exact. This made the migration easier to manage and offered further guidance in reducing the number of errors and inconsistencies.

Next, the migration team configured an automated script that facilitated the migration process. After the team developed the script, they tested it in an isolated local environment. As it happens sometimes, the testing took a few days and delayed the start of the migration. Nonetheless, lessons were learned and the team was more confident about the actual process in the end.

Even during the active migration process, the team was constantly updating and improving the script to simplify the moving of the most complex subnets.

For example, we implemented a semi-resume functionality that allowed us to resume the migration from the point of failure without restarting the whole process. This capability helped save time significantly and was useful in a lot of IP address migration cases.

Reflecting on each client

During the migration of IP addresses, almost all IPXO departments were involved in different operations. For instance, the Customer Success (CS) team had to manage client-related processes regarding the migration. More specifically, before the migration, the team had to manually check all clients’ accounts in Heficed and verify that they were valid and used. Also, the team had to connect all Heficed accounts to new IPXO accounts.

Furthermore, it was important to check if the clients had overdue services. To successfully move the subnets, the clients needed to pay for the services; otherwise, the migration team would need to postpone the process.

The CS team also needed to contact each client and inform them about the migration via email a day before. The clients did not need to configure their new IPXO accounts, as we did everything for them. Most importantly, clients did not experience any outages of their systems or networks during the IP migration.

Once a new account for the client’s company at IPXO was created, they received an invitation email with the Accept Invitation option. After they logged in to their accounts, the clients could see all the information, including subnet information, payment methods and all newly generated invoices.

Accept Invitation to IPXO platform email template.
Invitation to the IPXO Marketplace email

However, in some cases, clients needed to set up payment information again in the IPXO account if they did not provide their details in the Heficed platform.

Ensuring efficient migration

It was critical for us to ensure a secure and efficient IP address migration process and minimize the number of errors as much as possible. Simultaneously, we wanted to make sure that clients would not experience any network or website downtimes. Thanks to automated scripts and tests carried out beforehand, the risk of losing any clients’ data was minimal, and we managed to successfully migrate all subnets. 

One more thing that helped ensure a smooth process was our migration Quality Assurance (QA) checklist. It allowed all the team members involved in the process to check what they needed to complete and track the functions each was responsible for. 

After we completed the IP address migration, we had to deal with minor data inconsistencies that required manual configuration. The team had to solve data mismatches between Heficed and IPXO systems, including billing information errors, wrong metadata and other minor bugs. The team closely cooperated with the CS team to efficiently update all missing data.

Obstacles overcome and lessons learned

To ensure efficient and smooth IP address migration, it was crucial for the IPXO migration team to implement automated processes. We could have migrated all IPs manually, but, according to Linas Žilinskas, Staff Engineer Application at IPXO, “migration using IPAM databases involves a high risk of inaccuracies that may take a long-time to solve.” Therefore, automation helped make the migration quicker and smoother.

Furthermore, we learned that subnet complexity had an impact on IP migration planning and execution. The last stage of the migrated subnets was the most challenging because it involved the subnets holding the largest number of IP addresses. We couldn’t split those subnets into smaller ones to facilitate the process. Also, some IPs in those subnets were used within the internal Heficed infrastructure, which required additional configurations.

With the help of the QA checklist, we could achieve more efficient communication between managers who were part of the entire process. All parties involved knew what they needed to do and when.

People standing around a spaceship that represents big goals and teamwork.
IPXO migration team worked in unison to complete IP address migration

Most importantly, the migration showed us that it is paramount to communicate with customers. Our CS team made sure to provide all necessary information to the clients on time so as to avoid any miscommunication.

As an added bonus, different IPXO teams had the chance to work closely together. In the six months it took to complete the migration, we built relationships, came up with ingenious ideas, shared knowledge and became stronger together

Migration of IP addresses – mission possible!

Can you imagine moving almost two million IPv4 addresses from one location to another without impacting mission critical applications? A task of such magnitude might seem overwhelming and even impossible to execute. However, we now know that with careful planning and teamwork, everything is possible.

The biggest lesson learned: It is crucial to plan IP address migration in advance and divide the process into stages. We do not recommend moving many internet resources at once. This may cause difficulties in tracking and might lead to loss of data.

Moreover, it is crucial to consider all the parties involved in the process: Other departments within the company and, most importantly, customers. Proper communication is essential for ensuring that everyone is on the same page.

If you have the resources you wish to migrate, we also highly recommend automating the process so as to avoid all the manual work. Automation can make IP migration quicker and, at the same time, reduce the number of errors.

Ultimately, if you take the time to carefully plan IP address migration and employ an automated migration solution, the process can be efficient and smooth as well as full of learning opportunities, great experiences and a whole lot of fun.


About the author

Beatričė Raščiūtė

Technical Content Writer

Beatričė is a Technical Content Writer at IPXO. Having experience in translations, she decided to test new waters in the tech industry as a writer. While creating content, she dives deep into different internet and networking topics with the goal to present valuable information in the most reader-friendly way.