NANOG46 and Cisco Live had Significant Focus on IPv6

IPv6 was a Key Focus Topic at NANOG46 and Cisco Live

Although I wasn't able to attend in person the North American Network Operators' Group (NANOG46) meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 14 to June 17, 2009, I did review the presentations from the conference. I was astounded by the number of IPv6-related presentations at this NANOG meeting and the IPv6 presentations at Cisco Live. There were some exciting announcements made at these meetings regarding IPv6 deployments that I wanted to call your attention to.

I didn't attend NANOG46 in person but when I looked at the presentations online it became apparent that IPv6 is a key technology for network operators. It is clear that IPv6 has captured the attention of North American service providers are they are working on educating themselves about IPv6 and working on their plans for IPv6 deployment. Some service providers have IPv6 capabilities and are already connecting customers to the IPv6 Internet. I am not always able to attend NANOG meetings but I do enjoy looking over the informative information on their web site after each meeting. The NANOG46 presentations can be viewed online at http://www.nanog.org/meetings/nanog46/ if you want to learn about what transpired at this event. You can also review the information over IPv6 at http://nanog46.theplanet.com.

June 14th started off NANOG46 with an introductory presentation on IPv6 configuration. Richard Steenbergen from nLayer Communications gave a presentation on "Deploy a Production IPv6 Network in 30 Minutes or less (or it's free)". This talk was fairly basic for IPv6-experts but for an audience who didn't have much experience with IPv6 is was probably eye-opening. The next presentation was by Byju Pularikkal of Cisco Systems on Data-Over-Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS 3.0). In this presentation he covered many of the IPv6 functionality within DOCSIS 3.0 cable modems and CMTSs.

On June 15th Dave Temkin of Netflix and Tom Coffeen of Limelight Networks gave a talk titled "IPv6 deployment: Netflix and Limelight". His talk covered how Netflix was able to use an IPv6-capable load balancer to perform protocol translation for web and streaming servers playing movies over the Internet. If you have a valid Netflix account and are interested in watching a movie over IPv6 simply turn your browser to http://ipv6.netflix.com. I tried it and it works remarkably well.

In the evening of June 15th there was a special track on IPv6 deployments. Nina Bargisen of TDC moderated a panel of IPv6 experts including John Jason Brzozowski of Comcast, Dave Temkin of Netflix, Tom Coffeen of Limelight Networks, Andy Davidson of LONAP/NetSumo, and Randy Bush of IIJ. John spoke about how Comcast is working hard to get IPv6 capabilities rolled out to their cable modem subscribers. Dave covered how Netflix rapidly deployed their IPv6-only streaming system leveraging Limelight's IPv6-capable CDN. Tom talked about the challenges and lessons learned while deploying IPv6 within Limelight Networks. Andy covered how enterprises are viewing IPv6 deployments. Randy gave a compelling talk on the inevitability of IPv6 and how we get prepared for the stone wall coming in 2 years.

Comcast established dual protocol Internet connectivity for the conference. Comcast was displaying their dual-stack CMs and CMTSs, media services of IPv6, IPv6-enabled hosting, dual-stack load balancing, as well as Dual-Stack Lite. It was a great way for Comcast to showcase what they have been working on and make some announcements about their IPv6 transition.

On June 16th Igor Gashinsky of Yahoo gave a presentation on "IPv6 and Recursive Nameservers". This talk covered an innovative idea for helping solve the AAAA DNS issues that content providers are facing by using "intelligent" recursive dual-stack DNS servers.

Next, John Brzozowski of Comcast gave a presentation titled "Introduction to DHCPv6 and DHCPv6 for DOCSIS". This was a very comprehensive presentation on DHCPv6 and how it works. He gives protocol decodes for correct operation in various modes as well as shows server configuration examples.

On June 17 Athanasios Douitsis with the National Technical University of Athens gave a talk titled "IPv6 Deployment on a Broadband Access Network". He discussed how they are testing IPv6 within the National Technical University of Athens and the Greek Research Network. He covers what they have working as well as what problems they have encountered to date.

The last session was a panel discussion of "Network Address Translation and IPv4 Address Exhaustion: A Mechanism to Transition to IPv6". The moderator was David Ward of Cisco Systems and the panelists were Lixia Zhang of UCLA, Suzanne Woolf of Internet Systems Consortium, Alain Durand of Comcast and Chris Chase of AT&T Labs. Lixia covered a historical discussion of NATs and how multiple levels of indirection can solve all our problems for the migration to IPv6. Suzanne discussed how ISC has received funding from Comcast to create open source CGN software using the DS-lite method and she shared the status of that deployment. Alain discussed the issues facing CGN and covered the advantages of dual-stack lite (DS-lite) and how it works with a combination of NAT and tunnels. Chris discussed the needs of AT&T for CGNs and how they see deployment taking place.

At Cisco Live 2009 (San Francisco) there were also several sessions on IPv6. I attended a few of these. Here is a list of the IPv6 sessions at Cisco Live this year. TECRST-1301 An Introduction to IPv6 BRKAGG-2001 Deploying IPv6 for Mobile Operators BRKAGG-2004 Architecting for IPv4-Exhaustion & IPv6 Deployment in Broadband Networks BRKRST-2301 Enterprise IPv6 Deployment BRKRST-2303 Panel: Experiences with Deploying IPv6 BRKRST-3300 Service Provider IPv6 Deployment BRKRST-3305 Advanced IPv6 Deployment and Services BRKSEC-2003 IPv6 Security for Enterprises BRKOPT-1200 IPv6 Security for Service Providers BRKVVT-3061 IPv6 in Enterprise Unified Communications Networks

As you can see the number of IPv6-related sessions has increased over the past 4 years at Cisco Live/Networkers. Now there are IPv6 presentations in a variety of disciplines instead of just the RST (Routing/Switching Technology) tracks. IPv6 is now touching mobility, security, service provider, and voice areas.

With all this recent focus on IPv6 it should be clear that the momentum is building for the migration to IPv6. I encourage you to review these presentations to continue your learning of IPv6 to be prepared for the rapidly approaching future.

If anyone attended these conferences and these IPv6 sessions it would be nice to hear your feedback on these presentations as well.

Scott

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