I’m enjoying a great summer with nice sunny days and no rain. This week, I’m at a customer site doing VoIP training. Unfortunately, this customer in the public sector has nothing planned for IPv6. I have – in breaks and over lunches – tried to convince the engineers on why this is bad and why they should not wait for someone else to order them to solve the problem. After a lot of discussions they just told me: “Ok, you’re right. But where do we start?” That’s a very good question, something I’ve tried to answer in many of my blog entries. To summarize: It’s all up to you. You have to learn more, lab and start integrating IPv6 in everything you do. Let’s talk more about the road to IPv6! Spend 30 minutes on IPv6 every Friday!
Addresses and address management
There are many articles on the net describing the syntax of the IPv6 address. In November last year, I wrote about how a device actually gets the IP address. There are many ways, from static configuration to automatic assignment by DHCPv6. The address can be based on the Ethernet address (MAC) or be randomized for privacy. The computer always test the address before it starts using it, basically asks the network if someone else got the same address in order to detect duplicates before it turns into a problem. This is part of the IPv6 neighbor discovery process.
Getting IPv6 addresses for your network
There are basically two ways to get your IPv6 addresses – from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or by using a tunnel provider. Getting “real” addresses on your IP connection is of course something you should prefer. And keep asking your ISP for IPv6 so they understand that there’s a demand in their customer base. If they can not provider you with addresses, you have to use a tunnel provider. We’ve written about tunnels and how to set up a tunnel for a test lab.
Set up your own lab
In order to learn more and test IPv6 without affecting your operations, you need to set up a lab. Get a special tunnel for this and test servers, application and equipment while learning about IPv6. It’s the best way forward as you integrate IPv6 into your network. We’ve described our own lab setups and proposed various labs you can do with friends on a Friday evening.
Adding IPv6 to your web site
If you have a web site, you need to start supporting IPv6 on it. You’ve already missed being part of the World IPv6 Launch but we still need your web site reachable on the new Internet. We have described the project (how to prepare for the launch) and a workaround to get up to IPv6 quickly by using a reverse web proxy. We have also described IPv6 and DNS, something that you need to activate as soon as you add IPv6 to your public servers.
Developer? Upgrading your applications
If you are a developer, you need to understand how to enable your software for dual stacks, both IPv6 and IPv4. Another issue is called Happy Eyeballs – you really need to adapt ALL your applications that use TCP/IP to connect to servers to this new connection selection algorithm. The web browser have all done it, now you need to do it in order not to cause severe problems for your users.
That’s all for today – plenty of links for you to follow up on and consider as you prepare the food for the IPv6 evening lab with your friends! And don’t forget to show them some cool IPv6 videos!