Welcome to the Hurricane Electric Blog. Here you’ll find the latest updates on Hurricane Electric, along with our team’s musings on all things network, colocation, internet and technology. We’d love your feedback so feel free to dive into the comments section and take part in the conversation.Learn More
We’ve just released a free HE.net Network Tools mobile app for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices.
The HE.net Network Tools app includes the following functions:
- Interface Information: Get information regarding your device’s current network state.
- ARP / NDP: Lookup local devices found on your network using either ARP (IPv4) or NDP (IPv6).
- DNS lookup: Search for a server’s DNS zone records such as SOA, NS, A, AAAA, MX, TXT, and rDNS.
- IP Calculator: Calculate the Netmask, Wildcard, Network, Host range, and Broadcast for a given subnet.
- Ping: Send ICMP packets to a single IPv4/v6 address.
- Ping Sweep: Send ICMP packets to an entire subnet range.
- Traceroute: Find the route packets take to reach your destination.
- Progressive Traceroute: Get detailed statistics for a given route.
- TCP Port Scan: Scan a list of custom or pre-defined TCP ports on any server.
- Whois: Get information regarding domain registration.
No Ads! There are no advertising banners or links in the app!
For more information, see:
- HE.net Network Tools mobile app information page (networktools.he.net)
- HE.net Network Tools mopbile app @ Apple’s AppStore
- HE.net Network Tools mobile app @ Google Play
You can also see a short preview of the mobile app on YouTube, at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dIOm4w8qJM
We’ve also added a section on our forums.he.net web site for questions & discussions about the HE.net Network Tools mobile app.
Images: menu screens for iPhone (left) and Android (right)
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Over the past eight months, we’ve added POPs (points of presence) in 12 additional locations:
- Neutral Path facility at Center Plaza, 220 South Broadway, Rochester, MN (May 24, 2013)
- Interxion facility in Madrid, Spain (June 24, 2013)
- Interxion facility in Ballerup, Copenhagen, Denmark (July 1, 2013)
- Telx data center at 111 8th Ave. in New York City (now 5 NYC locations) (July 8, 2013)
- DataHive data center at 840 7th Ave in Calgary, Alberta, Canada (July 10, 2013)
- Global Service Center, 167 Lombard Ave, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (July 12, 2013)
- CE Colo Victor Hugo 1 in Budapest, Hungary (July 26, 2013)
- NXDATA-1 in Bucharest, Romania (July 29, 2013)
- Telx data center at 350 East Cermak, in Chicago (now 2 Chicago locations) (July 30, 2013)
- Telepoint colocation facility in Sofia, Bulgaria (August 5, 2013)
- Telecity’s Harbor Exchange colocation facility in London, England (now 2 London locations) (November 13, 2013)
- Telx data center at 200 Paul Ave. in San Francisco (December 11, 2013)
We’ve also added service through these additional Internet Exchange Points:
- COPHIX (the Copenhagen Internet Exchange) and DIX (the Danish Internet Exchange Point) (July 19, 2013)
- YYCIX internet exchange point in Calgary, Alberta (July 24, 2013)
- Manitoba Internet Exchange point (MBIX) in Winnipeg, Manitoba (July 25, 2013)
- Budapest Internet Exchange point (bix.hu) (August 7, 2013)
- Six Eastern European IXPs, in Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria: Budapest Internet Exchange (BIX), Balkan Internet Exchange (B-IX), Bulgarian Internet Exchange (BIX.BG), InterLAN Exchange, NetIX and the Romanian Network Internet Exchange (RoNIX). (November 22, 2013)
- BBIX Internet Exchange in Tokyo
HE.net has also added a direct fiber connection from Winnipeg to Minneapolis. This increases our network’s redundancy and resiliency, while reducing latency between central Canada and the central USA. (We’ve also corrected our Network Map to include several routes that were accidentally omitted.)
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Last week, Hurricane Electric was happy to accredit the 5000th IPv6 Sage. We have long anticipated reaching this milestone, and given that Sages currently represent 104 countries around the world, we were curious to see who the 5000th Sage was and which country he/she was from.
Without further ado, it is our pleasure to introduce you to Daniel Harzenmoser, the 5000th person to achieve the rank of Sage at Hurricane Electric IPv6 certification. Daniel hails from Switzerland, a fact which shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. Switzerland ranks 9th among other European countries for IPv6 Sages and 13th worldwide with 93 total Sages.
A few days back, Hurricane Electric had a chance to catch up with the 5000th Sage and ask him some questions. Here’s what Daniel had to say about the certification.
Hurricane Electric (HE): Congratulations on getting to Sage and thank you for agreeing to answer a few questions.
Daniel Harzenmoser (DH): I will try to answer them. It was a lot of effort for me to achieve the Sage level, so why shouldn’t I answer a few more questions?
HE: Why did you start thinking about IPv6?
DH: I was already thinking about IPv6 some years ago, when it became obvious that IPv4 address space would run out in due course.
HE: How did you hear about Hurricane Electric’s IPv6 Certification?
DH: A friend of mine told me about June 6th, the day of IPv6 World Launch, and that HE’s certification achievement gets you an IPv6 t-shirt.
HE: How much time did it take you to complete the certification?
DH: About 8 hours over 2-3 weeks’ time.
HE: Do you know any other IPv6 Sages?
DH: Good question… Just the friend who told me about the t-shirt and IPv6 World Launch.
HE: What advice would you give to someone starting out with IPv6?
DH: Patience, perseverance, and an appropriate router (and any accompanying software).
HE: Would you recommend the certification to friends/colleagues?
DH: Of course!
HE: What is your next challenge/lesson/certification to take on?
DH: Swiss “Amateur Funklizenz” to be capable of further experiments in data communications.
HE: What could we change, add, or take out of the IPv6 certification?
DH: Leave it as it is … it is almost perfect.
HE: Do you have any favorite networking/geek jokes to share with us?
DH: “Unix is user-friendly, it’s just picky about its friends.”
A big thank you to Daniel Harzenmoser for chatting with us about the certification. For those of you who haven’t yet reached Sage or who have friends and colleagues who might be interested, we hope Daniel’s story motivates you to try the IPv6 certification. We wish you all good luck and we look forward to accrediting the next 5000 IPv6 Sages.
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Hurricane Electric is proud to offer a number of free services. We provide a dual-stack DNS management tool with dynamic DNS support, an IPv6 certification program used worldwide in 101 countries, an IPv6 Tunnel Broker currently supporting 75,000 user-created tunnels, and a newly released interactive programming service which has already delivered nearly 500,000 exercises since its inception.
One other service that you may have seen mentioned is Hurricane Electric’s Network Looking Glass. In general, the looking glass allows you to examine network behavior like connectivity, path, and routing information from various vantage points in Hurricane Electric’s (awesome) network. Looking glasses are commonly used for verifying routing between providers.
There are two ways to access Hurricane Electric’s looking glass. The first is to telnet to our public route server at route-server.he.net and the second option is to use the web interface available at lg.he.net. Our web-based looking glass utility is a unique PHP/Perl blend which was created in-house in Fremont, California.
Upon visiting lg.he.net, you’ll find a list of some of our routers at core locations and commands that you can run to a specified destination. The “ping” command displays roundtrip time between the selected Hurricane Electric node and the specified IP address. “Traceroute,” on the other hand, shows all router hops encountered in the path between the specified router and IP address. Also available through lg.he.net is the BGP Route command and IPv4/IPv6 BGP summaries which display Border Gateway Protocol route propagation information.
What reasons are there for using Hurricane Electric’s looking glass? Besides offering transparency in how we operate our backbone infrastructure, you can evaluate to some degree how our network stacks up to your current provider. Feel free to check out how well-connected Hurricane Electric is and how you might benefit from buying transit with us or by peering (write to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com for more info).
In truth, a looking glass is more for network operators and ‘Net geeks who love everything about “pushing bits.” The ping command allows us to see that a device is up and capable of returning packets and traceroute can help diagnose network routing issues while following a packet to its destination. The BGP commands are a bit of a different story.
Border Gateway Protocol is a routing protocol similar to RIP, EIGRP, OSPF, and IS-IS, but is instead an exterior gateway protocol used to connect all the different autonomous systems (AS) across the Internet. This allows ISPs to connect to each other and end-users to connect to more than one ISP, something known as multi-homing.
BGP keeps a table of IP network prefixes which announce connectivity between those ASes; the protocol then makes decisions based on this reachability information and on path and network policies. Using the BGP Route command shows matching routes with status details; the BGP Summary (IPv4 and IPv6) commands show a limited view of the BGP routing table used for a given route in Hurricane Electric’s network.
So the Hurricane Electric looking glass can be very useful. If you change routing announcements, it’s possible to check that your routing changes were correctly deployed and that the “world” is seeing your network the way you planned. You can utilize looking glasses to verify that your routes are propagating correctly across the Internet and to see whether any are “flapping” (when a destination network is advertised via one route then another in quick succession). If we’re one of your upstream providers, you can make sure that we’re seeing your announced prefixes. Troubleshooting, like checking for consistency across networks or for a filter change that might be blocking your routes, is also possible on looking glasses.
Visit lg.he.net to try out the utility and all its functions for yourself. If you have any questions (or you’ve decided to pull the trigger on buying transit), be sure to send us an email.
As soon as we started giving away t-shirts to all of our Hurricane Electric IPv6 Sages, they became a sort of badge of honor for the thousands of Sages who have received them so far.
The Sage shirts are free, but they don’t come easy. The IPv6 certification is designed not just for theoretical but practical knowledge and use of IPv6. For that reason, you won’t be able to purchase an IPv6 Sage t-shirt.
However, you’re now able to obtain a few other items to express your love of IPv6 knowledge at the Hurricane Electric IPv6 store by CafePress.
You never know what sort of conversations some IPv6 gear will start up. For all current IPv6 Sages, consider it an extension of the free t-shirt you’ve already earned. To all of the future Hurricane Electric Sages, we hope some IPv6 gear will be the stimulus you need to get out there and attain your certification.
At the very least, it’s one more way to share in the growing deployment of the new principal communications protocol for the global Internet.
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Over the past few months, we’ve received some messages via Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Yelp from Hurricane Electric fans. By reading them, we hope you find insight into the type of company we are, whether you are considering us for colocation, IP transit, or dedicated server services. To everyone who sent us a message, thank you for helping to build Hurricane Electric’s online community. We appreciate it.
I’m continually impressed by the increasing number of services that Hurricane Electric provides the community for free. Thank you sincerely for all of them!
- Joe G.
I’d like to say that I find you one of the best things since sliced bread. Thanks for your support and this certification program. I will keep trying until I’m one of Hurricane Electric’s IPv6 Sages.
- Juraj G.
The best support I’ve seen with any transit provider.
- Gregg B.
I think I am the only one in my company who knows what IPv6 is and the advantages it presents. TY HE.NET!
- Paul N.
You made my life easy.
- John A.
I wish Indonesian ISPs were more like HE.
- Deni H.
First of all I want to say thanks. Hurricane Electric is the best company.
- Keligii M.
Thank YOU for bringing IPv6 to the unserved masses such as myself.
- Patrick L.
Just want to send a big THANK YOU to Hurricane Electric for all the free services you provide to the community.
- Justin H.
I moved in on a Sunday and had a little misconfiguration issue on the HE side. They actually called an engineer on Sunday night at 5pm and the issue was resolved within minutes. Great customer service goes a long way since it has become a thing in the past.
- Cory M.
So far our experience with Hurricane Electric has been excellent. Friendly, knowledgeable sales and technical staff.
- Eric S.
In an age of robotic web hosting companies, he.net stands out because of superior customer service and caring attention to solving problems. I love the fact that I can ask for a particular employee and they actually know who I am. Nowhere else on the web can you find that kind of service anymore!
- Shere C.
We’ve been with Hurricane Electric for over 7 years, as are many of our customers. We love the non-complicated user interface, the fact that real people answer the support phone, that people go over and above to help you out, and the rates are very competitive.
- Kelly R.
I love these guys, they’re fantastic. I’ve been hosting with them for almost 8 years and they continue to impress me with their responsiveness and innovation. Even in the middle of the night, I get a response to my tech support query in admirable time with a solution.
- Alex H.
We’ve been purchasing services from Hurricane Electric for about 10 years now. You will not find a better service provider for shared hosting or colocation. Their support staff is awesome, responsive, and knowledgable. The bandwidth is high quality, and I get excellent pings to my equipment in Fremont 2 from anywhere in the world. The support for IPv6 is incredible. It’s like they’ve been at it for YEARS! Oh, wait… they have.
- Chris H.
The guys and dolls at HE have saved my butt more times than I can count.
- Patricia A.
Excellent datacenter, their staff is technical and provided quick service via email. 5 stars in all areas that matter.
- Chris L.
Hurricane Electric support is unreal, especially for their free services. Wish my ISP was as responsive and as knowledgeable.
Hurricane Electric, the most BA internet provider ever, has a really good free DNS service.
Just set up my first IPv6 tunnel with Hurricane Electric from my home router. Extremely easy web-based set-up tool! Props to he.net.
Hurricane Electric was always solid when I dealt with them in the past.
Best tunnel broker out there!
The he.net BGP Looking Glass tool is really nice, wish I’d discovered it sooner.
Hurricane Electric is a great place to start (for IPv6). Free tunneling, plus good walk-through certification.
Wearing my new IPv6 Sage shirt from Hurricane Electric, a very professional team.
Thanks he.net for the free DNS services. They are totally awesome!
The guys at he.net really have it figured out!
Just noticed that our he.net IPv6 BGP feed reached 3000 prefixes – nice milestone. And thank you, Hurricane Electric, for your services!
I am impressed with and grateful to Hurricane Electric Internet Services for outstanding IPv6 support.
Once again, thank you to all the Hurricane Electric fans.
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Some variants on a question you’ll often hear at an Internet meet-up or conference: “What equipment do you use?” and “What routers are you relying on?” If you’ve met up with Mike, Martin, or Owen somewhere along the road, you’ll find the answer to that question very quickly: Hurricane Electric’s network is built with Brocade switches and routers.
In a recent video interview, Martin got a chance to talk about Hurricane Electric’s use of Brocade equipment, IPv6 development, and our efforts to maintain one of the world’s most efficient and reliable networks.
Here’s what he shared:
“Hurricane Electric runs a very high bandwidth network. Our primary customers are buying wholesale IP backbone bandwidth.
That means that the performance – the performance of the core, the performance of the interface out to the user, the performance of our internet peering that is key to our networking success – all has to be best in class, best in history. We do have that on this platform, and we have that and we have it in a way that is manageable and in a way that enables us to continue to grow.
We know that we can add significantly to this network both geographically and in bandwidth, and in the ability for us to handle the continuing complexity of Internet routing. For example, we know that even if the Internet backbone routing table size doubles or more, we’re still in good shape. If we know that, as our IPv4/IPv6 routing changes to where v6 becomes far more important, that we will end up having no problem in holding enormous amounts of routes. And yet not end up losing any performance while we do that.
For Hurricane Electric, we are about providing access to the Internet and the Internet is changing at the moment. We are going from a pure IPv4 network, a network that was partly designed in a research world not expected to last this long nearly 28-30 years ago, to now where we’re looking at a network that needs transition. IPv6 is that transition.
It provides the additional address space, it provides various features that enable the Internet to continue to grow. But it requires service providers like ourselves to take IPv6 seriously. and for us to take IPv6 seriously, we need a vendor that supplies us that takes IPv6 seriously.
Our company is known globally as both largest IPv6 backbone but more importantly, as one that has been at the leading edge of pushing this commercially and throughout other vertical sectors. In our case, we needed a platform that would make IPv4 delivery and IPv6 delivery on equal terms. It’s called dual stacking, but more importantly you must be as good in the IPv4 world as you are in the IPv6 world or vice versa. And that’s what we had as a requirement both for our hardware and also for our services and capabilities within, in our case, our network operations center.
V6 is probably the single most important thing that is, or should be, on people’s minds at the present moment if they’re operating a network. If they’re relying on the global internet, then they need to understand why v6 is important. We know that we’ve got the solution for our customers from that point of view. but more importantly, we have a platform that has been delivering for us, now for many years, the required v4/v6 services.
So our network is not just about moving bits. If we can’t measure where they go, then we’re pretty much running blind. And measurement is not just the simple management of how much bandwidth is on a port, whether internal to the network or to a customer.
We rely on the sFlow platform and the data we get from the routers in order to understand where our traffic is flowing. Not just at the large level, at the tens of gigs worth of traffic, but sometimes even down to the 50 or 100 kilobits worth of data that is flowing around that may be at issue for some form or another. sFlow data fed out of the routers, collected, and then for us interpreted real time, with history being kept in the region of about 5-6 months worth of data, is enough for us to understand where our bits are flowing.
We can save money by doing this, we can improve the quality to our customer, and more importantly than all of that, we know for such a large network, that we are operating in a reliable and efficient manner.”
Video credits go to Brocade.
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On January 12, 2011, the Internet Society put out a press release formally describing what will be a big step for many in the networking community: a global-scale trial of IPv6 in which participants enable the new protocol on their main services for 24 hours. The trial will encourage collaboration within all realms of the technical community, bringing the industry together to test IPv6 readiness for all the billions of web-connected devices.
IPv6 was first deployed on Hurricane Electric’s Internet backbone in 2001; our main site and services are dual stacked and have been for years. HE still realizes the value of participating in and promoting World IPv6 Day. On January 27, 2011, Hurricane Electric President Mike Leber and Director of IPv6 Strategy Martin Levy published a letter to HE customers, partners, and other network managers.
The content of the letter is reprinted in this blog post; the original can be downloaded in .pdf form from our main site.
Jan 27, 2011
An Open letter to Hurricane Electric Customers, Partners and Managers of Interconnected Networks:
World IPv6 Day and Hurricane Electric
IPv6 must be a top priority in 2011 for two very important reasons:
1) Exhaustion of the IPv4 address space is imminent. IANA run out is projected to occur in the next few weeks, and exhaustion at the RIR level will inevitably follow quite soon in some regions.
2) June 8th, 2011 is designated as World IPv6 Day. As described in the ISOC press release and covered by the popular press, World IPv6 Day is a global 24-hour test drive of IPv6. It provides a logical target date for 100% IPv6 adoption within enterprises and an ideal real-world environment for testing end-to-end IPv6 connectivity and performance.
In short, the time to adopt IPv6 is now.
Hurricane Electric has operated an IPv4/IPv6 backbone for nearly ten years. As we approach World IPv6 Day, let us unequivocally state that Hurricane Electric’s backbone is ready for IPv6.
Please take a moment to review the information below about the Hurricane Electric backbone, its interconnections with other backbones, and transition technologies such as tunnelbroker.net, 6to4 and Teredo.
The Hurricane Electric backbone is a native network with all links operating with native IPv4 and IPv6 links. Our solid infrastructure routes and transports IPv6 by leveraging modern ASIC-based networking hardware and firmware written to ensure both protocols are supported in lockstep. In other words, IPv4 and IPv6 packets flow with equal agility.
Today, we have enormous IPv4 traffic levels and quickly increasing IPv6 traffic levels. If the tables were turned and IPv6 traffic levels spiked, packets would continue to flow across the backbone unhindered. At Hurricane Electric, our attitude toward increased IPv6 traffic can be summed up thusly: bring it on!
All interconnects between our backbone and other key backbones are now native IPv6. This means that we can move IPv6 traffic at line-rate in-and-out of the network because every connection is capable of running IPv6 at full speed. Of course, interconnections are reciprocal arrangements, and we thank our interconnected partners for their skillful implementation of IPv6.
The Transition Technologies
Hurricane Electric deployed a variety of transition technologies around the globe – each plays a role in today’s Internet.
Ten years ago, Hurricane Electric deployed tunnelbroker.net to provide IPv6 connectivity to distant end-users who lack a real IPv6 connection. Around the world, nearly 150,000 users have used this service – collectively spanning 178 countries. As a result, Hurricane Electric is proud to have enabled more IPv6 connectivity than any other global provider.
Our tunnelbroker.net service is a transitional edge-access technology. Once broadband and mobile networks fully enable IPv6, demand for the service will diminish.
6to4 and Teredo
Even though the vast majority of IPv6 traffic on Hurricane Electric’s backbone is native, Hurricane Electric sees over 10Gbps of 6to4 and Teredo traffic. 6to4 and Teredo exist and are needed in the real world. Many end users – especially on World IPv6 Day – will have IPv6 connectivity provided by one of these relay protocols.
Ignoring 6to4 and Teredo would be tantamount to throwing valid traffic into a black hole, and no amount of saying “these are evil protocols” will make them go away. In fact, what will make them go away (and diminish the relayed traffic levels) is the widespread implementation of IPv6 within broadband and end-user networks.
We expect relay traffic will continue to grow as we approach World IPv6 Day and spike on the day itself. To be ready, Hurricane Electric is increasing its 6to4 and Teredo deployment well beforehand.
We encourage all our customers (and our competitors, too) to participate in World IPv6 Day. Please see ISOC’s webpage for details: http://isoc.org/wp/worldipv6day
Hurricane Electric’s services have been well tested – we are 100% ready. At Hurricane Electric, every day is an IPv6 day.
Mike Leber, President & Founder, Hurricane Electric
Martin J. Levy, Director of IPv6 Strategy, Hurricane Electric
Many moons ago, president of Hurricane Electric Mike Leber had the idea that YouTube webcasts could be another way that customers would like to connect with HE. That idea came to fruition in August of 2010.
We’ve been an early leader in the world of IPv6 and it followed easily that updates on v6 news, strategy, and planning would be an asset to our customer base.
If you take a look at the older webcasts, you might chuckle. Actually, you’ll probably point your finger at the computer screen and laugh wildly at the quality, or lack thereof, in the earliest webcasts. But as with many YouTube channels that eventually find their niche, the Hurricane Electric YouTube channel has improved over the months in video and broadcast quality.
We’re always looking to share the success stories that our customers have enjoyed. If your organization has used Hurricane Electric services to transition to IP Next Generation (IPng) a.k.a. IPv6, we’d be interested in hearing about it. Send a message to the YouTube channel and we can set up an interview or meeting.
We periodically mail out newsletters to our customers on the state of IPv6 deployment and developments/news in the field. Be sure to watch for updates to our blog — we’ll do our best to keep you up-to-date.
IANA IPv4 Exhaustion
At a ceremony held on 3 February 2011, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) allocated the remaining last five /8s of IPv4 address space to the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) in accordance with the Global Policy for the Allocation of the Remaining IPv4 Address Space. With this action, the free pool of available IPv4 addresses is now fully depleted.
To read the full text of this announcement, please go to:
World IPv6 Day
Facebook, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) and Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO), websites with more than one billion combined visits each day, are joining major content delivery networks Akamai (NASDAQ: AKAM) and Limelight Networks (NASDAQ: LLNW), and the Internet Society, for the first global-scale trial of the new Internet Protocol, IPv6. On June 8, 2011, dubbed World IPv6 Day, participants will enable IPv6 on their main services for 24 hours. Cisco, Juniper, Hurricane Electric, and Bing have also announced their participation.
For more information, please see:
At Hurricane Electric, we’re glad to say that every day is an IPv6 day.
IPv6 Deployment Growth
The global IPv6 routing table has passed 4000 IPv6 prefixes. Of the 37134 networks in the world running BGP, the number running IPv6 has increased to 3321, or 8.9 percent.
Hurricane Electric Updated Network Map
We’ve continued to expand our network. Check out our newest network map here:
Hurricane Electric now has over 6000 BGP sessions with over 1600 IPv4 and IPv6 networks at 45 different exchange points in North America, Europe, and Asia.
Join us on your favorite social media sites
Follow us on Twitter
Become a Fan on Facebook
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel
And take advantage of some of our free services
Hurricane Electric IPv6 Tunnel Broker Project
Hurricane Electric IPv6 Certification Program
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