Friday, 4 February 2011

World IPv6 day - a challenge to manufacturers?

World IPv6 day (8th June) is a day that lots of bits of the internet will have IPv6 enabled. It is a trial run to confirm how well things work, and people like google, and facebook are involved. Lots of people are getting involved, which is excellent.

The day is just a line in the sand - another milestone - much as yesterday was. Except this time we know the date in advance and can make it a real deadline for some things.

For us, it is hard to participate in World IPv6 day as we have been doing it for years. It is the same as any other day. One point the man from google made to this at UKNOF was that we would get more calls from people that have mis-configured networks that cannot get to facebook. He did not realise quite how we work. We have had IPv6 on our web site for years, and hundreds of sites we host. For all our customers www.google.com has an IPv6 address. Our mail servers have IPv6. Anyone that has a mis-configured network will have problems now and so they were solved long ago. We may get more calls because of the publicity, but not for any technical reason.

So how can we participate? and how can other ISPs that are in fact on the ball participate?

Well, I have an idea. We are going to make a list of targets for us. Many will be simply checking things - making sure every service is IPv6 and even checking it an from IPv6 only networks to be sure we have missed nothing. We know our status pages (hosted off network) are not IPv6, but will be. We know we can't gateway IPv6 to IPv4 VoIP calls, but we will have that in place. I can't think of anything else we fail on, but the idea is we will check and test everything to be sure.

But one of the big commitments we can try for is to ensure we are not selling any equipment that only works on IPv4 after World IPv6 Day.

That gives our suppliers a challenge. If they cannot provide an IPv6 version by then, we stop buying. That means DSL routers, VoIP phones, data SIM cards, the lot. We either find someone that does IPv6 on the kit or we don't sell that product any more.

Basically, as far as we are concerned, equipment sold for connection or use with "the Internet" will not be fit for purpose if it cannot work with the current version of the Internet Protocol. It is only fair to set a deadline for that, and we are saying World IPv6 Day is that deadline.

Now, we are a small ISP, so what we need is somehow to get some momentum. To get this challenge taken up by other ISPs and other equipment suppliers. How about people like dabs saying they will only stock IPv6 capable equipment? Or PCWorld?

To be honest, all it needs is Trading Standards to say that they consider anything sold to work with "the internet" has to work with IPv6 or be marked as "Legacy IPv4 only" clearly... That does not stop people making and selling kit, but they would have to fess up that it is using out of date protocols and will have limited use... if enough people ask when they buy, or send back what they buy, then that will get the message across.

So, lets make World IPv6 Day a challenge shall we?

5 comments:

  1. I just wish some of the "big" ISPs showed even a fraction of the clue you do.

    Only yesterday I logged a support ticket with an ISP that must BE one of the largest providers of unbundled ADSL2 connections in the UK asking when they planned to offer IPv6. Their exact words were, "All we know and the information we have from the HO is that we will implement IPv6 until the end of the year.". I'm not sure what that means, but I'm not holding my breath. :-)

    I've been testing an IPv6 connection at home via an he.net tunnel + the A+A DNS64 servers (which allow me to use your NAT64 - is this expected behaviour from outside?). It's pretty much flawless and sometimes better than the native IPv4 connection from my ISP!

    To be honest, now I've dumped XP I think I'd rather have a nice clean IPv6 only connection with DNS64/NAT64 than the hassle of dual stacking every machine (with the obvious exception of servers).

    Jonathan

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  2. Another possibility... convince ISPs to charge more for IPv4 traffic than IPv6. That provides economic incentive for people to pressure the websites they use to go IPv6...

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  3. The NAT64 gateway is open to the world at present, yes. Something of an experiment and a damn good test for carrier grade processing of such things. Works well from what I can see.

    Going totally IPv6 single stack is still a tad geeky :-) and for now I would rather not confuse the "message" we are sending on this by even mentioning that you can do that.

    The message is dual stack for now.

    But well done, have fun...

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  4. Yes, but, apart from getting connected, the traffic will depend on the other end a lot. So charging end users based on what web sites and the like do is not incentive to the web site owners (well, not directly).

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  5. I guess my point was that if I pay more to use AwesomeWebsiteX because it's only IPv4, I might bother to drop them an email telling them they should really upgrade...

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