IPv6 going mainstream, little by little

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There's been a lot of great progress on IPv6 this summer. I'd like to highlight some recent news items:

Google

A few months ago, Google launched a preview IPv6 service. That made their search engine, maps and a few other services reachable at a special URL: http://ipv6.google.com/. They've recently expanded this service to include their cache (note the IPv6 address in the URL):

google_v6_cache_large.png

This is a good missing piece to fill in. I'm still waiting for IPv6 at www.google.com, though.

Wikipedia continues IPv6 testing

Wikipedia has been testing IPv6 throughout the summer. They've already v6-enabled several of the secondary services (mail, bug tracker, Subversion repository, etc).

Many organizations are still afraid to use IPv6 on their main web site. There's a lot of FUD and myth that IPv6 will break clients and drive away visitors. Wikimedia is empirically testing these claims. The preliminary results look encouraging -- less than 1% of their test clients show problems.

.org

The .org domain just announced that it will accept IPv6 records. They've had AAAA glue in the DNS root for a while, but until this week they didn't allow .org's to have AAAA glue. This is really great news. 70% of the top-level domains have IPv6 glue in the root, but not many of them accept AAAA glue themselves.

nmap

nmap, the venerable port-scanning tool, now includes IPv6 support in its Windows version. This is great for security conscious sysadmins who want to test their systems.

Some admins think they're safe from port-scanning because IPv6 subnets are so big (18 million million addresses per subnet). This just isn't true. There are many ways for an attacker to reduce this search space. I highly recommend reading RFC 5157 for guidance on IPv6 port scanning.

Huge surge in IPv6 DNS traffic

In February, 2008, the DNS root enabled IPv6 transport. During spring 2008, IPv6 traffic at the root was relatively flat. But starting in late June, IPv6 traffic has steadily increased, and is now nearly four times higher than the spring average:

h2_6-year.png

Independently, there has been a significant increase in AAAA queries. At one of the largest ISPs in Japan, almost 20% of the DNS traffic is IPv6-related:

aaaa_queries_over_time.png

I took the graph from a presentation at the 2008 DNS Operations Workshop.

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4 Comments

Dan Anderson said:

Network Solutions supports IPv6 glue for .COM. I was able to add a IPv6 address to a nameserver (type: whois ns.drydog.com). You need to email them, IPv6Req (-at-) networksolutions (-dot-) com.

Derek Morr Author Profile Page said:

Good to hear. I'll email SiXXS and have them update their page of registars who accept AAAA glue - https://www.sixxs.net/faq/dns/?faq=ipv6glue

Michal said:

This SixXS list is pretty outdated I think. For instance CZ TLD is fully IPv6 enabled as well. They have IPV6 reachable servers and offer IPv6 glues. For instance try:
dig -6 +trace aaaa www.cesnet.cz.

Derek Morr Author Profile Page said:

Fair enough. I also emailed them about .cz. Hopefully they'll update the page. In the past they've made prompt updates (for .edu) for example.

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