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One small step for man, six small steps for Beaglekind

Date posted: 20/04/2011

Do you remember when Australia moved from 7-digit to 8-digit telephone numbers?
Well, the Internet is doing something similar. We're moving from IPv4 to IPv6. That means from moving from 32-bit Internet numbers to 128-bit Internet numbers. We're doing it for the same reason as before, we've simply run out of resources to allocate.

Today we commenced the first part of our program to enable IPv6 across our network. It was a small but exciting step into the new and now ever-necessary world of IPv6. This step was 'ever necessary' as earlier this week, APNIC (the body that controls the allocation of IP addresses in Asia Pacific) decreed that they were down to their last block of IPv4 space.

We received our last allocation of IPv4 space today to facilitate dual-stack migration and took step one in the big IPv6 pond so to speak.
    # ping
    Protocol [ip]: ipv6
    Target IPv6 address: ipv6.google.com
    ...
    Type escape sequence to abort.
    Sending 6, 100-byte ICMP Echos to 2404:6800:8004::68, timeout is 2 seconds:
    !!!!!!
    Success rate is 100 percent (6/6), round-trip min/avg/max = 0/1/4 ms
Our first six IPv6 packets were test packets sent to Google, one of the early adopters of IPv6. So how many IPv6 networks are there out there? Not many.
    # sh ip bgp ipv6 unicast sum | I entries
    5257 network entries using 762265 bytes of memory
    ...
    209 BGP community entries using 6520 bytes of memory
The global IPv4 routing table (for reasons that I hope never get repeated in IPv6) has over half a million route entries. If you consider route entries alone, IPv6 has a deployment of just 1%.

That's not very impressive, but the reality is, each one of those network entries represents about 8 quadrillion addresses. That's a lot of IP space when you consider, there was only a few billion to go around with IPv4. However, when you consider how much IP space is available with IPv6, it goes to being not very impressive again. The world still has its head in the sand with IPv6 with only a thousand or so IPv4 /22 allocations left for the rest of Asia Pacific.

The next step for us is to now enable all of our services to be IPv6 enabled and then all of the access tails (ADSL, 3G wireless and dial-up). Yes, we'll be offering IPv6 on dial-up!

If you're a customer and interested in being an IPv6 trial user, please drop a line to support.

 
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