Archive for the ‘IPv6’ Category

What We’re Reading, Week of 9/24

Posted: September 28, 2012 in Highlights, IPv6, VPN

eWeek: BYOD Initiatives Require Careful Thought, Implementation
Computerworld: 6 signs that the U.S. is overtaking the world at IPv6
InformationWeek- Is Windows 8 Too Risky For IT?
Dark ReadingFBI Warns Of Scams Targeting Financial Industry

IPv6 Day 2012 – The Aftermath

Posted: June 21, 2012 in IPv6, Uncategorized

Now that we’ve had a few weeks to consider the aftermath of IPv6 Day 2012, we wanted to look into what the industry is saying are the key takeaways – so far – from this year’s event, in which thousands of organizations switched over to IPv6 – permanently. After all, IPv4 website addresses are essentially exhausted, while IPv6 has more than 340 trillion addresses, according to the Internet Society. This, the organization points out, is an IPv4 address for every star in the universe. Mind-boggling, right? Here’s what else people are saying:

IPv6 traffic didn’t spike on World IPv6 Day, but did see a gradual and significant increase starting two weeks before the actual day, 6 June, according to Arbor Networks. Internet Protocol version 6 traffic grew from 0.06 per cent to 0.15 per cent in that period, it said…The increased levels of IPv6 traffic has been steady since the event, Arbor added. “This shows that hopefully many of the newly enabled IPv6 services are here to stay – another important milestone on the road to ubiquitous IPv6 adoption.” – Adam Bender, ComputerWorld

While the commitment to always-on v6 was a big one, some experts predicted that we wouldn’t see a big jump in traffic rates during this year’s World IPv6 Launch. The reason for this was that many of the providers who are committing to v6 had already turned up their networks ahead of the launch and would be running the day of the event. However, Owen DeLong, IPv6 evangelist for Hurricane Electric, predicted a small spike in traffic would occur on June 6, followed by a leveling off and gradual move upward in traffic rates. He forecast that v6 traffic rates would “at least double if not quadruple again, possibly more, in the next year.” – Samantha Bookman, FierceTelecom

What are your predictions for IPv6 moving forward? Also, you can download your own copy of the World IPv6 infographic at

By Nicholas Greene

IPv6 Day 2012 is just a day away on June 6. For those just getting up to speed, here’s the back story. IPv6 Day started in 2011 when over a thousand major website hosting organizations and ISPs — including Google, Facebook, Akamai, and Yahoo — got together in order to execute a global ‘test flight’ of IPv6 over the course of several days. This helped them expose a number of potential issues involved with a full implementation of IPv6, in addition to allowing them to take the new protocol for a spin, and prepare for the inevitable shift. Last year’s experiment went without any major hiccups and we also discovered that IPv4 and IPv6 are capable of playing nice with one another– a rather important factor in implementing the new protocols. After 24 hours of testing, the organizations shifted their websites and services back to the old standard.

This year, they’ll be switching over again…but this time, they won’t be switching back. With that in mind, it isn’t difficult to see why June 6 is a rather important day.  We’re pretty much about to witness history in the making, in a manner of speaking.

Since IPv6 Day 2011, all the organizations involved have been busying themselves getting their content delivery networks and services primed and ready for the big day.  One question remains- how will the global launch of IPv6 change the Internet as we know it? What effect will it have on how people browse? How will it revolutionize security and connectivity?

The first thing you need to know about World IPv6 day is that the distribution of IPv6 is going to be neither immediate nor incredibly widespread- at least, not at first. Many businesses are thoroughly committed to the idea of implementing IPv6 over IPV4…but the trouble is, not all of their customers can handle the new standard. Take Time Warner Cable and Comcast, for example, who both revealed that 30% of their consumers use Windows XP, which isn’t IPv6 ready out of the box, and  another 70% use routers that have no support for IPv6.  With this in mind, it should be clear that the advent of IPv6 doesn’t mean IPV4 is going to simply be tossed by the wayside- far from it.

Ultimately, the goal that’s been set for World IPv6 day is for organizations to shift 1% of their worldwide consumer base from IPV4 over to IPv6. It may seem minor, but given how many consumers are still using older hardware and software…it’s actually a rather ambitious objective.

IPv6’s launch will undoubtedly modernize a number of midmarket networks, writes Chris Crum of Netpro News, and will most definitely be a big deal for enterprise organizations- both within and without of the tech industry. Even in light of this, it’s going to be a very subtle shift.

So, we’ve addressed users, networking, and co-existence with IPV4. Now it’s time to take a look at the elephant in the room- network security.

We’ve already discussed at length some of the benefits of IPv6, and tackled a number of myths regarding the new protocol. Perhaps one of the most prevalent myths, if you’ll recall, regarded the labyrinthine dinosaur that was Network Address Translation. While the launch of IPv6 might not signify the de facto death of NAT, it will signify the slow fade of the translation protocol into obscurity. Ultimately, as we’ve detailed already, this will carry with it considerable benefits for the ‘net.

These include easier implementation of IPsec, smoother infrastructure, automatic encryption of all IPv6 network data, and integrated support for mobile. Of course, the IPv6 launch isn’t without its fair share of pitfalls, either. Ideally, we’d want IPv6 to have a smooth, instantaneous implementation- with everybody using high-encryption, high-security networking systems, and tossing the outdated IPV4 to the wayside.

As with most situations, in reality, things get much…messier.

If anything, we might actually see things getting even more complex for a while as a result of IPv6’s implementation, and as organizations turn to a wide array of technologies in order to bridge the gap between the two suites, fragmentation might rear its ugly head. It’s easy to see how this could end up becoming even more complex than what we’ve currently got in place, and how this could easily lead to misconfigured networking systems and a whole new plethora of security risks- to say nothing of some of the currently applicable exploits (such as router impersonation) and other security risks that might surface as we begin the transition.

Even so, IPv6 should be seen as a net positive for the Internet- and for network security, and IPv6 day should be something we’re looking forward to, rather than dreading. After all, it’ll eventually prove to be a giant leap forward for both Internet technology and network security, and completely eliminates the IP address exhaustion issue.

For the time being, though…rather than a giant leap, we’re taking baby steps.

By Sylvia Rosen

It’s out with IPv4 and in with IPv6. At least that is what all the experts are saying.

The depletion of IPv4 was proclaimed  a year ago, and now nearly on the anniversary of this announcement, we think this is the perfect time to revisit this issue and see if IPv4 predictions have changed.

As most of our readers know, the never ending growth of the Internet has created a demand for more addresses that IPv4 cannot supply; however, IPv6 can. As a result, experts are expecting that business professionals will be among the first to prepare for the switch.

Unfortunately, experts also predict a few obstacles along the way.

“The drop-dead deadline for external websites to support IPv6 is January 1, 2012. When we get to the end of 2011, we’re going to have a lot of people connecting over IPv6 and that doesn’t bode well for the content providers who don’t support IPv6. Unless you’re willing to have the path between you and one of your customers go through a third-party gateway that you don’t know and that you don’t have control over, you want to add IPv6 to your website. Then when customers try to access your site, you have a straight path with IPv6 and with IPv4.”—John Curran, President and CEO of the American Registry for Internet Numbers.

“To send and receive data on the Internet, every connected device needs an IP address – and 2011 was the year we finally started running out of IPv4’s unique, 32-bit sequences. In 2012, smart businesses will want to get an IPv6 address in addition to an IPv4 address so that when the transition to IPv6 does come, they’ll be prepared. It will be important for companies to keep their IPv4 addresses for some time, as households might not be equipped for IPv6. When the time comes for websites to relinquish their old IPv4 addresses, many average consumer devices will be ready.”—Megan Guess, writer at PCWorld.

“The vast majority of Americans simply cannot access IPv6 yet. The government transitioning to IPv6 would ultimately be futile if the infrastructure isn’t in place for us to access the sites.  I live in Walnut Creek, a community less than 30 miles from San Francisco — arguably, the epicenter of technology and innovation in the world. And yet, my community isn’t yet equipped to handle IPv6 or high-speed Internet protocols. If we — just a stone’s throw from Silicon Valley — can’t transition easily to technological innovations, how can we expect anything more from the rest of the country? The truth is, the transition to IPv6 will be a slow rollout that will happen over the next 10 years. There’s still too much work that needs to be done from providers in terms of upgrading their wiring, pipes and firmware.” – Rainer Enders, CTO Americas, NCP engineering

“The network switchover from the current IPv4 addresses to the newer 128-bit IPv6 addresses has security implications. The IPv6 namespace seems almost infinite in the possible number of addresses, with 340 undecillion possible addresses. There’s a lot of room for spammers to stretch out in. The dual stack being rolled out by various telecommunications carriers, where customers have both a IPv4 and IPv6 address, also pose security challenges, as network administrators have to remember to create firewall rules and security policies protecting both networks; Otherwise, attackers can just stroll right through the hole on the IPv6 side.” – Qing Li, Chief Scientist at Blue Coat Systems.

About the author: Sylvia Rosen is an online writer for BuyerZone. She writes on a variety of telecom topics, including phone systems trends of 2012.

Dark Reading’s Kelly Jackson Higgins is reporting that many providers and vendors, including Google, AT&T, Facebook and others – plan to officially go live with IPv6 on this year’s IPv6 Day (June 6). This might sound familiar, as it was last June that more than 400 organizations — including Google and Facebook – enabled IPv6 standards on their websites. Last year, no major outages were reported, paving the way for this year’s official switch.

Even so, an ongoing concern has been whether our technology infrastructure is ready for IPv6. Rainer Enders, CTO of NCP engineering, posed this very question last year in the column “We Need Infrastructure Before IPv6 Becomes a Real Problem” on CTOEdge. Drawing upon his personal experience, Enders illustrated the stark technical reality facing IPv6 implementation:

I live in Walnut Creek, a community less than 30 miles from San Francisco — arguably, the epicenter of technology and innovation in the world. And yet, my community isn’t yet equipped to handle IPv6 or high-speed Internet protocols. If we — just a stone’s throw from Silicon Valley — can’t transition easily to technological innovations, how can we expect anything more from the rest of the country? 

Now, in an encouraging next step, the Internet Society has announced that “Major Internet service providers (ISPs), home networking equipment manufacturers, and web companies around the world are coming together to permanently enable IPv6 for their products and services by 6 June 2012,” reports ZDNet’s Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols.

He adds:

In a statement, the Internet Society’s CTO, Leslie Daigle, said, “The fact that leading companies across several industries are making significant commitments to participate in World IPv6 Launch is yet another indication that IPv6 is no longer a lab experiment; it’s here and is an important next step in the Internet’s evolution. And, as there are more IPv6 services, it becomes increasingly important for companies to accelerate their own deployment plans.”

What this means, exactly, according to the Internet Society is that ISPs participating in World IPv6 Launch will enable IPv6 for enough users so that at least 1% of their wireline residential subscribers who visit participating websites will do so using IPv6 by 6 June 2012. These ISPs have committed that IPv6 will be available automatically as the normal course of business for a significant portion of their subscribers.”

 Readers, what are your thoughts – is this a step in the right direction? Stay tuned as we feature more experts weighing into the next steps on IPv6 ultimate roll-out.