Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Practical experiences with IPv6

OK, now we finally have boxes that will allow us to deploy IPv6 sensibly in SMEs. (No, not DSL routers with IPv6, but our new FireBricks) - we are keen to start getting some practical experiences. There are some DSL routers on the horizon, but we have seen some very special routers for IPv4 so what they will do with IPv6 and how configurable their firewalls will be is anyone's guess. The FireBrick we can control and we can make it work sensibly!

This is not directly a technical exercise. The technicalities we know pretty well, having used IPv6 ourselves, and sold it to customers, for 8 years or so. It's the experiences of how to tackle the things everyone has forgotten about. How well old machines cope with dual stack. What management think of the problem. Etc, etc.

It is also about the practical experiences of selling the idea to companies. Right now there is not much internet you can't get on IPv4. A NATted connection gets you most things - as an edge connection rather than being part of the internet as such. IPv6 offers more, but in most cases, right now, it is not offering things people know that they need. We are at the start of the problems now, and they will gradually get worse over the years, but at what point does IPvb6 become the obvious solution for people, rather than a contingency?

We do have some technical things like VoIP. I am working on making our SIP server mix IPv4 and IPv6. At present it does IPv6, but only works to other devices that understand IPv6! Once we have that sorted, the plan is to understand how to deploy SNOM phones. Sadly SNOM are being totally thick here as (a) they make a s/w version that is IPv6 only not dual stack, and (b) they do not pick up an address by RA or any other means - you have to manually set some how - arg!

I think non NAT VoIP deployment using IPv6 is a leading application. People are starting to deploy VoIP more. NAT is a pain in the arse for VoIP in many ways. The best way to solve it is non NAT. That will be harder to get on IPv4, so non NAT IPv6 phones on a LAN makes sense. It could make IPv6 a must have when deploying VoIP phones centrex style.

So, fun times ahead.


  1. This is great. It will be really nice to see more things on v6, currently I think around the only things I hit on v6, are A&A pages, my own website/mail The company sites/services and Google. Unfortunately for me, VOIP over IP6 won't work yet, as our Linksys SPA941 phones [yuk] don't know what IP6 is. and as far as I can tell neither does our Polycom conference phone... As this goes on, I guess we'll see new phones / firmware that do support it, it's the same thing with consumer routers. Someone needs to give them a kick into action! :)

  2. From a network provider:-

    While our equipment can support this, obviously we are waiting to see how the industry moves.

    Arrgh !

  3. Sounds like they are the industry and are not moving!

  4. I just wish one of the RIRs would bit the bullet and trigger then end of ipv4. Can't be many days now.

    The industry isn't moving anywhere. It needs a kick up the arse!