Quick IPv6 Update

Terry Slattery
Principal Architect

As Greg Ferro says, IPv6 is the gift that keeps on giving.

Perhaps you’ve seen the news: Microsoft spends $7.5m on net addresses. Why would Microsoft offer to buy 666,624 IPv4 addresses at a price of $11.25 each? Does it mean that they don’t believe in IPv6? Do they need additional address space? Or is another purpose driving it? I’m not going to comment on other purposes, which could take us down all sorts of speculative paths. If they need more address space, why not use IPv6 addresses? Maybe they are not yet seeing very many IPv6 customers attempting to access their systems via IPv6. It will be interesting to see what Microsoft does with those addresses.

While doing some other research on IPv6, I found an interesting page that describes the types of problems that could affect customers, along with solutions to the problems. It is at the ARIN IPv6 Wiki: Customer problems that could occur. It is a very useful list for anyone considering a switch to IPv6, either as a customer or as an enterprise or carrier.

Another interesting article is about Germany’s heise Online, which ran their own Big IPv6 Experiment. They did their own IPv6 experiment by switching to v6 for a day, then later permanently enabling IPv6. The biggest set of systems with bugs tends to be old Mac OS X systems, which want to use an IPv6 address even if there’s no IPv6 connectivity. What is really interesting is the negative economic impact to their business – end customers with the bugs that they list can’t access their IPv4 web site. They eventually decided that the number of customers with problems was small enough that they should go ahead and leave the IPv6 site running.

The results of the upcoming “World IPv6 Day” will be very interesting to track. On this day, 8 June 2011, a bunch of major internet sites (Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, Akamai and Limelight Networks), will enable IPv6 for 24 hours – a real test of IPv6. (Infoblox will be participating in it too–look for an announcement April 18.) What will be most interesting is how many of their customers will be unable to access their IPv4 web sites because IPv6 connectivity doesn’t exist (i.e. how many customers still have equipment running old software).



Re-posted with Permission 

NetCraftsmen would like to acknowledge Infoblox for their permission to re-post this article which originally appeared in the Applied Infrastructure blog under http://www.infoblox.com/en/communities/blogs.html


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