Interview with the 5000th IPv6 Sage

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: Did you need to use any other resources from Hurricane Electric to complete the certification?
DH: Yes, the free DNS and the IPv6 Tunnel Broker.

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.

Hurricane Electric IPv6 Gear

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.

Why IPv6 Today? Martin Levy interviews with Brocade

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.

World IPv6 Day

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.

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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, 6to4 and Teredo.

The Backbone

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!

The Interconnects

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 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 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:

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

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Hurricane Electric & YouTube

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.

From the IANA IPv4 global pool depletion to setting up v6 in the home to true dual stack compatibility, Hurricane Electric webcasts have offered the very latest in IPv6 developments.

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.

Hurricane Electric IPv6 Update

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

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And take advantage of some of our free services

Hurricane Electric IPv6 Tunnel Broker Project

Hurricane Electric IPv6 Certification Program

Getting Ready for IPv6

Setting Up a Tunnel Broker for Your Workplace

Even if the ISP through which you receive Internet service does not yet support IPv6, you can use the free Hurricane Electric Tunnel Broker to connect your IPv6-enabled network to the IPv6 Internet and other IPv6 servers and networks.

How Does a Tunnel Broker Work?
A Tunnel Broker provides a service that encapsulates IPv6 packets inside IPv4 packets, allowing them to pass through networks using older IPv4 routers and switches.

How to Use the Hurricane Electric Tunnel Broker
Use of the Hurricane Electric Tunnel Broker is simple and free. Visit our web site and fill out the registration form. In minutes you will be connected to the IPv6 Internet. While you are there, take some time to enroll in our free IPv6 certification program!

Hurricane Electric and IPv6
With close to ten years of experience, Hurricane Electric is leading the Internet industry in the integration and deployment of IPv6 with a global reach and more BGP adjacencies (an industry-accepted method of measuring IPv6 deployment) than any other Internet provider. Since 2007, Hurricane Electric core routers and backbone have supported both IPv4 and IPv6 in native mode. All Hurricane Electric network servers, including DNS, SMTP and NTP, are IPv6-compliant. Throughout the US, Europe and Asia, each point-of-presence (POP) within the HE network is IPv6-enabled. The result of this planning, development and deployment is that IPv6 is available today to all Hurricane Electric colocation, transit and dedicated server customers.