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