The much anticipated World IPv6 Day is now behind us. Almost 400 vendors came together on June 8, 2011 by enabling IPv6 for their content and services for 24 hours. Cisco was one of them. The goal of the test was to demonstrate the viability and potential caveats of a large-scale IPv6 deployment in the real world, as IPv6 has been steadily gaining more and more traction and interest recently due to the gradual IPv4 address exhaustion.
Internally, Cisco, as most organizations, was preparing for the 24 hours to go smoothly for its own IPv6-served content. At the same time, considering the large deployment of Cisco devices throughout networks everywhere, precautions were taken to address any issues that could arise during the dry run. Fortunately, activities concluded successfully with no major issues, showing that an IPv6 future could be closer than initially thought.
There already are and will be many reports created on results, statistics and lessons learned during testing. Among those, we would like to stress a few key-points taken from Cisco Distinguished and Support Engineers Carlos Pignataro, Salman Asadullah, Phil Remaker and Andrew Yourtchenko, who were all engaged in the project, which give a general feel on how the day went:
Vendor coordination was made possible, showing that even competitors can work together when it comes to a common goal that will benefit everyone.
There were no support cases related to the World IPv6 Day activities, which indicated a good level of both IPv6 preparedness and product readiness.
IPv6 adoption could happen smoothly, avoiding major technical issues when done methodically.
AAAA DNS records that are used for IPv6 do not automatically “break” the Internet, as it was often argued. There are certain challenges with providing an IPv6-enabled DNS infrastructure, but these can be addressed.
User experience feedback was positive. That was based on an IPv6-only approach. Due to the implementations in a dual-stack environment, user experience could deteriorate based on IPv6 and/or IPv4 performance. In such environments, solutions that track IPv6 and IPv4 performance can alleviate help. As the transition is taking place for years to come, dual-stacked environments will be the way to go, and solutions like Happy Eyeballs can certainly make the experience more transparent for users. The Chrome browser already implements a similar fall-back mechanism, which had documented benefits for some of its users.
Concluding, it is important to note that the successful World IPv6 Day exercise proved that transition to IPv6 would probably not be nearly as scary as many had originally thought some time ago. Careful and gradual adoption is easier than it was believed, and it is already happening. Product concerns, improvements and caveats here at Cisco are aggressively being worked on, and the future will only include positive developments.
By Mark Palazzo, VP/GM, Cisco’s Cable Access business
As industry vendors, we go into every tradeshow mired in details. From the packed meeting schedules to the booth demos (things go much better when they work…!) to the evening events with customers and industry colleagues, it’s far less glamorous than our non-convention-going friends might think. Right? Then there’s struggle to get the suitcase zipped, with the new tonnage of stuff needing transit back to the office.
It’s only afterwards, with a weekend in between to parse the major themes, that the answers come. I’ve checked in with several Cisco colleagues who were on-site in Chicago for The Cable Show last week. We’re in agreement that if the question is “I saw the whole thing! What happened??” in terms of this year’s blur of a Cable Show, our short list goes like this:
Optimism reigns in cable. In years past, and especially last year, it seemed that a miasma of anxiousness blanketed the cable industry, led by fears of over-the-top video providers – and especially Netflix, as a contender for the industry’s own video-on-demand business. This year, we went into the show fresh with knowledge that Netflix traffic continues to gobble up broadband capacity — yet the sense of optimism amongst service providers was unmistakable. To me, it almost felt like the buoyant good will of the go-go-franchise years, in the late ‘70s. With continued evidence that DOCSIS can see the industry through even the heaviest of bandwidth-heavy times, coupled with significant advancements in both “cloud” and “client” – it’s gratifying, as a vendor company focused nearly entirely on network, client, and cloud! Read More »
New firmware (Ver.1.0.02) for the Linksys E4200 now provides support for IPv6. IPv6 is the next generation Internet protocol.
Cisco as an organization is committed to supporting the transition to IPv6 in all its products and services it provides to service providers, enterprise and consumer customers. IPv6 is foundational to the next generation Internet enabling a range of new services and improved user experiences.
As ISPs begin rolling out IPv6 service to their customers, consumers will need new routers and gateways that support IPv6 to participate in this next generation Internet. Today, Cisco will begin enabling IPv6 across its consumer line of routers including the Linksys E4200 Maximum Performance Dual-Band Wireless-N Router. It is critical that consumers begin looking for products and devices that support IPv6 or can be updated to IPv6. Cisco has been and will continue to be a leader in the development of IPv6 so consumers can feel confident that home networking products from Cisco will provide top line performance now as well as providing a foundation for the future.
Now is the time to formulate an IPv6 transition strategy for your home network. Cisco recommends a three phase transition strategy:
Preserve yourcurrent investments in IPv4 as you transition over to IPv6 supported products.
Prepare –Cisco Linksys home networking products provide native support for IPv6 as well as IPv4, ensuring your network is ready for the next generation of technologies.
Prosper – Take advantage of the next generation Internet at home which includes new applications incorporating video, mobility, energy management and cloud services providing for a better home networking experience.
We are introducing native IPv6 capability into the high end home networking product first, verifying its functionality, proving its stability, and then planning to reuse the base code into the other select Linksys products. While many of the base IPv6 specifications have been available for years, the IETF published RFC 6204 which defines the basic requirements for an IPv6 home router as recently as April 2011. IP is one of the most important protocols to the Internet, and IPv6 is the biggest change in IP in over 30 years. We want to be careful that the implementations we ship work well and adhere to the latest standards so that we do not hinder the adoption of IPv6 by content providers and ISPs.
Simply because there is not a widely deployed end to end IPv6 network yet (even though there are regional deployments). There are four basic areas where IPv6 support is required for the home:
Without all four areas, IPv6 is likely not to be used. To date, endpoint devices represent the bulk of IPv6 deployment. Home routers and Internet are following quickly with IPv6 capability. Broadband access networks will be the last to mass deploy IPv6 services (even though there are significant IPv6 deployments from major service providers available now).
Also note we have added some additional features in this firmware release including:
Support of USB printer connected to the router’s USB port, so that a user may send a print job to the printer via the local area network. ** This feature requires Cisco connect software v1.4 or later which is also available on the same download page as described above **
Added support of Native IPv6 and 6rd tunnel Internet connections
Added support of bridge mode
Prevented devices on the guest network to access any private IP address
IPV6 support will be available in other Linksys E-Series in the coming months.
IPv6 has been top of mind lately, with World IPv6 Day on June 8th that provided a global-scale test flight of IPv6 technology for the purpose of testing and data collection. Cisco also recently announced that French service provider SFR is using our Carrier Grade v6 solution to offer IPv6 services to their residential customers, while still preserving their existing infrastructure investments.
Many people still have questions on the issues and options associated with making the evolution to IPv6. Below, in part one of a four part series, Cisco’s Kelly Ahuja, SVP Service Provider Chief Architecture Office and ACG Research’s Managing Partner Dr. Ray Mota discuss the changed landscape which network operators face that is driving the adoption of IPv6 technology. Ray does make an interesting comment about 2011 being the year of the tablets - and not just for consumer use, but also for business applications. Another point that Ray makes with which we agree is the need for network operators make a near term plan which extends or preserves the use of existing IPv4 assets, and a longer term plan which can migrate services to IPv6 - seamlessly - when needed.
Happy Friday! Read more about the top news stories of the week that includes a feature on World IPv6 Day, an announcement on the Cisco ASR 9000, a demo of Cisco’s new data center and a couple news announcements about WebEx!
The Cisco ASR 9000 series just got better with age! On Tuesay, Cisco announced major advancements that will set new industry benchmarks and dramatically increase capabilities at the edge of the next-generation Internet and transform the broadband communication and entertainment industries! Read more here!