Ready for the World IPv6 Day?

Ready? Go!Next Wednesday will be the 1st World IPv6 Day! Are you ready? What are you plans? Unfortunately, I’ll be visiting a customer but I’ll try to grab some popcorn, coke and to keep an eye on the Internet. The goal is simple: Make a maximum of web sites and online services available through IPv6 during 24 hours.

All operating systems today are dual-stacked, they work with IPv4 and IPv6. On local networks, IPv6 addresses are automatically assigned, maybe your laptop or desktop already has such address, did you already check? Recent operating systems give more priority to IPv6. If a website URL resolves to an “AAAA” record, it will be used. Hélas, today, most websites do not enable (yet) quad-A records for their main URL, they prefer alternatives. A well-known example is Google, available via ipv6.google.com. During the IPv6 day, the main URL (“www.google.com“) will be available via IPv4 and IPv6 at the same time. Just like my blog:

  $ host blog.rootshell.be
  blog.rootshell.be has address 88.191.119.130
  blog.rootshell.be has IPv6 address 2001:5c0:1400:b::9349

Due to the higher priority of IPv6, your browser will use this address. Then problems may occur… And that’s the purpose of this event. Detect issues and fix them!

Unfortunately, the Internet is often managed by the (in)famous “layer 8‘. IMHO, I think that biggest commercial websites won’t play the game. The risk of loosing revenues will take over the technology aspects. According the different mailing lists or forums that I’m following, this event could be renamed as the “World Geek IPv6 Day“. Indeed, most people who will participate are technical guys (network & system administrators). Where are the managers amongst us? From a technical point of view, lot of people are deploying reverse proxies connected with IPv6 and processing internal request to the “old” IPv4 servers.

I setup a SmokePing server which monitors a bunch of IPv6 websites participating to the event:

SmokePing
(Click to enlarge)

It runs on IPv6 only and will also help to me to stress test my home IPv6 tunnel (I don’t expect native IPv6 to be delivered by my ISP before 20xx!). I hope to gather interesting statistics during the day. Due to lack of bandwidth, I can’t make it available publicly but I’ll share interesting statistics after the event.

Another nice initiatives:

  • The RIPE developed a “World IPv6 Day Connectivity Chart” (available here).
  • Eric Vyncke’s IPv6 deployment status.

And finally, a special mention on the wall of shame to Microsoft which released a fix to change the priority of IP stacks before and after the event:

The following Fix it solution will resolve the issue by configuring your computer to prefer IPv4, instead of IPv6. By default, Windows prefers IPv6 over IPv4. This Fix it solution is temporary, to resolve issues on World IPv6 Day for affected Internet users. On June 10, 2011 at 12:00AM, your computer will be configured to prefer IPv6 again after your next reboot.

From my point of view, if your workstation is so critical in your business, do you really need an Internet access? The World IPv6 day will be a great opportunity to test IPv6 live. Don’t miss it!

Finally, during the day, Twitter will be a good source of information. Follow the hashtag “#WorldIPv6Day“.

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