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Google & IETF go IPv6

By Andree Toonk | March 12, 2008

IPv6 google The 71st Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) meeting is now underway in Philadelphia, in what some are describing as a weeklong IPv6 experience.This week, the IETF is encouraging all attendees to explore and experiment with the Internet from an IPv6-only perspective. The IETF is the premiere Internet standards development body, responsible for creating the technologies at the heart of the Internet’s infrastructure, including the standards for email, chat, Internet telephony, and of course the Internet address protocols IPv4 and IPv6. As it has done for many years, the IETF is providing both IPv4 and IPv6 network connectivity at the meeting. During the last IETF meeting I was personally involved for BCNET in this by giving the IETF70 IPv4 and IPv6 transit using the BCNET network.

This week, the IETF is encouraging all attendees to explore and experiment with the Internet from an IPv6-only perspective. Throughout the week, meeting attendees can choose to try an IPv6-only wireless network and during the administrative plenary session, everyone will dive into IPv6 together as the regular IPv4 access will be turned off in the plenary meeting room, and attendees will only have IPv6 addresses to connect to the outside world. During this period, everyone will be encouraged to explore the Internet, including their own sites, to see what works and what doesn’t. The IETF is promoting this activity at a time when IPv6 deployment is becoming a matter of global importance.

For a few years already I’ve been using IPv6 at work as well as for personal use. My former employers, AMS-IX, SARA and currently BCNET all have an IPv6 enabled network which I use on a daily basis in my office. Also, services such as web, mail and dns on my personal server (http://www.toonk.nl/), including the Blog that you’re reading right now is reachable over IPv6. It is my personal experience that a lot of IPv6 services on the Internet are still in an experimental state and sometimes it just doesn’t work, which can be frustrating at times. Fortunately the last few weeks things are changing! some of the big players are joining this IPv6 parade! As of today Google has made it’s search service available over IPv6, try it out at http://ipv6.google.com (Ipv6 only) and last month the root DNS zone was updated with IPv6 addresses for six of the 13 root servers. This change means that it’s now possible for an IPv6-only system to connect to another IPv6-only system without the need to do DNS lookups over IPv4. It would really be cool if Google decides to make the youtube videos available over IPv6.

Hopefully the deployment of IPv6 will continue like this! And I can start right here in Canada! from my office the RTT to ipv6.google.com is around 350ms! From my server in the Netherlands it’s just 23ms. Unfortunately it seems impossible to find an commercial IPv6 transit provider here in Vancouver.

Topics: work | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “Google & IETF go IPv6”

  1. Roel Says:
    March 24th, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    Is ipv6 ever goining to replace ipv4?
    It is taking its time to do so…
    I believe it will, but it will take certainly another 10 years.

  2. Andree Toonk Says:
    March 24th, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    Hi Roel,

    Great question/remark! Let me start with the “bad news”. According to statistical analysis IANA will run out of IP addresses is Feb 2011. IANA holds the global pool of IPv4 addresses, and delegates these to RIRs (Regional Internet Registries), for Europe RIPE is the RIR. The same analysis project that in may 2012 the RIR’s are out of unallocated IP addresses. This means that if a company/organisation needs more IP addresses it can not get them from RIPE anymore after 2012.

    The big question is, what’s going to happen after 2012? The ideal scenario would be that we are all ready for IPv6. This unfortunately will not happen (think about legacy applications, embedded devices, etc).
    Luckily since a few months IPv6 seems to get a boost (finally) which for a significant part is being pushed by the RIR’s! The fact of the matter is that all major OS’s are ready as well as the major router vendors. Yes, there are still some bugs and limitations, but the only way to work those out is to actually use it.

    another possible scenario is creating an IP address space market, allowing people who need IPv4 addresses can buy them from those who have a surplus, so that IPv4 address space remains available for a few more years. Interesting scenario right? Do we want this…..hhmzzzz I personally don’t think it’s good thing, but then again, that’s probably how the market is gonna be. Whenever there’s demand, there will be people to help you out. If demand outstrips supply, the price for IPv4 addresses could skyrocket, where it’s attractive for sellers to wait for prices to get even higher before selling. If I were a domain squatter, I would certainly diversify my business in the direction of address squatting while address space is still easy to get. :)
    This of course will only help some of us with IPv4 addresses, the majority will have to migrate to IPv6 in order to let our business grow. Another misconception I often here is, “I have enough IPv4 addresses, so I don’t have a problem”. But what about your costumers in Europe and Asia who are forced to use IPv6, do you want to exclude them from your business?

    So the fact matter is, IPv6 will come as you said, however much sooner then we would expect or like. Maybe your next project is going to be an IPv6 project! Once the responsible IT managers start to realize the need for IPv6 it might turn into a IPv6 rush/hype, do you remember the Millennium Bug / Y2K problem. I think a lot of consultancy / out source companies have the potential to make some nice deals here ;)