The slow mainstreaming of IPv6

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Slowly, we're making progress mainstreaming IPv6. I wanted to post on a few interesting developments.

Netflix has IPv6

Late last month, Netflix got an IPv6 allocation from ARIN, and they're advertising it in BGP. It doesn't appear that they're offering any services over IPv6 yet, but this is a good first step. I look forward to the day I can stream movies to my Netflix set-top box over IPv6.

DynDNS has an IPv6 plan

DynDNS has announced an IPv6 plan. They still have a lot left to do, but they've already got a few boxes reachable over IPv6.

Cisco releases more "free" IPv6 support

Late last year, Cisco announced a change in their IPv6 pricing policy: They no longer plan to charge extra for IPv6 features in IOS. They've been rolling this policy out across their product lines. Last month, they released an update for the 3560/3750 series: IOS 12.2(50)SE. This release moves IPv6 support into the "free" IP-BASE version, and adds support for Layer 2 IPv6 security features as well.


No update would be complete without my favorite pet topic: IPv6-reachable DNS servers. So far this year, seven more domains have added IPv6-enabled their DNS servers:

  • .bs (Bahamas)
  • .gw (Guinea-Bissau)
  • .mv (Maldives)
  • .mx (Mexico)
  • .no (Norway)
  • .pr (Puerto Rico) (note, Puerto Rico has IPv6 DNS last year, but lost it in November)
  • .tt (Trinidad & Tobago)
In total, 213 of 280 top-level domains have IPv6 glue.

Also, two more Internet2 members have added IPv6 DNS: University of Louisville and Louisiana State University.

Improved Internet2 IPv6 Peering

Internet2 provides IPv6 transit for both commodity and research traffic. Last year, most of the IPv6 commodity traffic flowed through Palo Alto, California, where Internet2 peered with Hurricane Electric. As you can imagine, that made for sub-optimal performance. Over the past few months, Internet2 and Hurricane Electric have added additional peering sites, first in Chicago, and most recently in New York City. This significantly improves performance.

I have a free Hurricane Electric IPv6 tunnel at my house. It's now faster to use their IPv6 tunnel than native IPv4 to connect to Penn State. I'm sure much of this is due to Comcast's... sub-optimal routing, but I'm nonetheless enjoying the irony.

So, more deployment and better performance. I'll take what little I can get.

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Carlos said:

And, although is from the Wild Side of the Internet, there is already support for IPv6 torrent sharing:

Latest statistics show a ratio of around 10:1 IPv4:IPv6 peers and trackers. With uTorrent and some other clients, you can do a download of a legal torrent only by IPv6... This should push up the traffic a little bit...

Jim Leous Author Profile Page said:

Derek -- do you have directions for Comcast users to set up a "Hurricane Electric IPv6 tunnel" at home? It could come in handy as more sites at Penn State adopt IPv6.

Derek Morr Author Profile Page said:

Hurricane Electtric has extensive docs on their site,

Hi Derek, I'm with you. I'm hoping you get to stream your movies to your NetFlix set-top box over IPv6 sooner rather than later! As for the rate of progress, I think what we're dealing with here is simple human nature. Some folks seem to avoid changing anything until they realize they don't have much choice - in this case they'll make the change when they finally realize that we're running out of IPv4 addresses. At Cisco, we've taken a leadership role to ensure a smooth migration and integration before that day finally comes (it's looking like 2011). And as an aside, as the Manager of Network Systems Networking for Cisco, I'm always glad to see people talking about us. Hang in there.

Richard Godbee said:

Ms. Geisler:

There's more to IPv6 migration/integration than pushing IPv6 support into the base IOS feature set on enterprise class routers.

NetFlix movies will never stream into the average home user's set-top box over IPv6 if getting IPv6 support for their home network is more complicated than buying a consumer grade (and consumer priced) router w/ wireless access point at their local big box store.

When will Linksys, Cisco's consumer division, start delivering products with IPv6 support? Telling home users to buy a $550+ 871W to get IPv6 support isn't going to fly. (Even the 871W's IPv6 support is broken in important ways, but at least it's there.)

Hi Richard.
I appreciate your feedback and I understand what you are saying. I can't specifically comment on Linksys since my role is in a different area. In the meantime, here is a link to Cisco CTO wireless, security and access routing Pat Calhoun as he provides highlights of a customer panel he hosted recently on the successes and challenges of transition to IPv6. I think viewing this video will shed further light on the subject:
There were some heavy hitters on the panel, including Google, the European Commission, free (second largest broadband ISP in France)SpaceNet (SP from Germany), Arch Rock (pioneer of IPv6 wireless sensors) and TATA (a large global IPv6 provider).

Ruth said:

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Beamtrolley said:

Derek, I think the IPV6 will come faster than you think.

Beam Trolley said:

Derek, I think IPV6 will come sooner than you think.

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