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IPv6 Hour… One, Two, Three, IPv4 Switched Off!

Yves Poppe

It happened in San Jose, it happened in Taiwan and soon it will happen in Philadelphia!

A nightmare? A conspiracy? No, no, it was just the IPv6 hour. One hour of pure IPv6 LAN for NANOG attendees with a NAT-PT as valve to the crowded teeming world of the IPv4 internet. IPv6 only on the inside, dual stack to the outside world. At 12 noon, Tuesday February 19th it happened! While Mac, Vista, Linux and Unix can breathe AAAA, Windows XP however cannot do DNS over IPv6 transport. What to do to avoid all these Windows XP users, including my colleague Sylvie Laperrière, crowding the audience, scoffing at the state of IPv6 readiness? Some clever gymnastics with a little DNS hack synthesizing AAAA out of A records was supposed to provide them uninterrupted connectivity to the outside world.

So what happened? The number of associations (users on the local network) peaked at 175 which is not bad. When Merike Kaeo who chaired the session asked the audience how many of them still had IPv4 access, about 60-70% raised their hand. Teething problems were to be expected, but such real life experiments remain the best environment to probe skill levels and stimulate ingenuity.

On February 27th, the Apricot conference in Taiwan saw its IPv6 hour and by the time of the upcoming IETF in Philadelphia this March, it might already be close to routine and not too newsworthy anymore.

Although NAT-PT remains after all a NAT, destroyer of the internet end to end principle, the initiative should be applauded. IPv6 only network bubbles can grow without too much trouble and still have an interface to the "old internet", QED.

Would be address sharks, salivating with visions of reselling hoarded or traded IPv4 blocks at outrageous prices to desperate customers suffocating for lack of routable addresses should pause. Predatory pricing would simply accelerate the growth of IPv6 bubbles and the ultimate demise of IPv4. Taking a global perspective, one can only assume that major networks in countries such as China or India would resist being milked this way. An IPv6 only China interfacing to the "old" internet? That would be a quite sizeable bubble indeed.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in these articles are solely those of the author and are not in any way attributable to nor reflect any existing or planned official policy or position of his employer in respect thereto.

By Yves Poppe, Director, Business Development IP Strategy at Tata Communications. (Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in these articles are solely those of the author and are not in any way attributable to nor reflect any existing or planned official policy or position of his employer in respect thereto.)

Related topics: DNS, IPv6, Networks


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Re: IPv6 Hour... One, Two, Three, IPv4 Switched Off! Suresh Ramasubramanian  –  Mar 02, 2008 9:24 AM PDT

So yves, do you have any stats from the v6 hour at apricot TPE?  I missed it - the first apricot I missed since 2003 - but this is something I'd love to hear about from as many people who were there as possible.

srs (apricot mgmt committee / apia board)

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