When it Comes to IPv6; Go Native

Do not fear deploying dual-protocol web sites

As the world's supply of IPv4 addresses diminishes it is definitely time to work on your IPv6 deployment plans. As your organization enables IPv6 on their public web sites you should consider the "IPv6 Brokenness" on the Internet. However, you shouldn't necessarily let that stop you from deploying native dual-protocol Internet connectivity. I encourage you to be brave and go native.

There is a growing list of organizations who are starting to create IPv6-only fully-qualified domain-names for their web sites. One of the first large organizations to publicize this approach was Google. Google has ipv6.google.com as their IPv6-only site. However, if you participate in the "Google's over IPv6" DNS-whitelist program then you can reach all of Google's sites using native IPv6.

Google is collaborating with other companies like Microsoft and Netflix on the DNS-whitelist approach to help these large-scale content providers avoid the problems of IPv6-brokenness. Back in April of 2010 the ISOC created a report indicating that "IPv6 capability in the Internet is at 5%". We are hopefully that the percentage of IPv6-brokenness will decline rapidly throughout 2011.

You might have heard about the "World IPv6 Day" that will take place on June 8, 2011 where several leading companies will establish both a DNS "A-record" and an "AAAA-record" (quad-A) for the fully-qualified domain-name of their public-facing web sites. This group of companies who are going to brave the IPv6-brokennes include Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Cisco, and Verizon. It is easy to predict that other companies will join in and participate in this one-day experiment.

In the meantime, the list of IPv6-only web sites is growing. Following is a list of sites and links to articles about these organizations who are providing IPv6-only content and vendors who are "eating their own dog food".

Facebook announced their IPv6 site at the 2010 Google IPv6 Implementors conference - www.v6.facebook.com. NetFlix has their IPv6 site - ipv6.netflix.com. Cisco's IPv6 site - www.ipv6.cisco.com. Juniper's IPv6 site that will eventually be established - www.ipv6.juniper.net. CNN's IPv6 site - ipv6.cnn.com.

Brocade is one company who currently has native IPv6 connectivity to their web site www.brocade.com. I really liked the recent quote by Martin Levy from Hurricane Electric says "At Hurricane Electric, every day is an IPv6 day" because their web site (www.he.net) has both an A and AAAA record for many years.

Another aspect of "Going Native" relates to running IPv6 directly rather than encapsulating IPv6 packets inside of IPv4 tunnels. A few years ago I wrote an article for Network World Magazine that discussed the advantages and disadvantages of tunneling versus using dual-stack. My statement "Dual Stack Where You Can - Tunnel Where You Must" has been uttered many times since then. Back in 2007 Hurricane Electric created a report that talked about the benefits for a service provider to going to native IPv6 (Going Native Report). Jeff Doyle also has written about the "awkward" period of IPv6 transition where tunnels will be used extensively.

I also want to encourage you to lead your organization's IPv6 deployment and strive for native IPv6 Internet connectivity.

Go Native IPv6!

Go Native IPv6


Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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