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Ready for World IPv6 Day – June 8? Get ready on 6/6 with #IPv6Chat and @CiscoGeeks

In case you’ve been living under a rock, World IPv6 Day is June 8.  Many companies will participate, including Cisco. In fact, we’ve got a full day of festivities planned. From the Running of the IT Admins to the Fire Walking Of Threat Researchers, it should be a fun day.

To answer any last-minute questions and assuage your completely founded anxieties, we’re having an IPv6 TweetChat on June 6. Think of it as a nice way to ease into your morning if you’re on the west coast or a random amusement if you’re elsewhere.

TwitLatin With Bullhorns

What’s a TweetChat? Very simple. If you’re on Twitter, you ask and answer questions and add a hashtag somewhere in your tweet to identify it as part of the conversation. You can keep an eye out for others using this hashtag (via search) and see the flow of the conversation. For this chat use #IPv6Chat.

On the day of the event (June 6 – Monday! At 9-10am PDT), you can follow the conversation with hashtag #IPv6Chat on any of your favorite Twitter clients or directly on Twitter. <http://twitter.com/#!/search/%23IPv6Chat>  We will also be giving away 25 t-shirts to customers who ask questions.  Read the full terms and agreements.

More IPv6

If you’re too excited about IPv6 to wait till June 6, you can check out Cisco’s very own IPv6 page, or review some of the blogs written by my very talented colleagues.

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Nothing for World IPv6 Day

After months of anticipation, World IPv6 Day is nearly upon us.  Network equipment vendors, network service providers and networked enterprises have all diligently prepared and for twenty-four hours on June 8th we will all get to experience the fruits of that labor when more than three hundred websites offer their content using IPv6 in addition to IPv4.  If everyone has done their job right, what do we expect to happen?

Nothing.

That’s right.  The best outcome of World IPv6 Day would be a completely unchanged end-user experience, regardless of the fact that they now can use a new underlying network protocol.

Get Ready for Nothing

In order to best ensure that nothing happens, IT professionals should seek out latent IPv6 problems that may suddenly manifest themselves when so much IPv6 traffic appears.  What steps should you take to ensure that you experience nothing?

Until June 9th, the Cisco Technical Support Website will display a banner which tests the most common failure mode expected on World IPv6 Day.  Using some Javascript magic, the banner predicts the readiness of the host from which a visitor connects.  Ideally, the visitor will see teal text and a check mark icon indicating success, but a visitor who sees red text and an X icon may have a potential connectivity problem.

Even if the visitor can achieve the coveted check mark on that banner, it would not hurt to conduct a few more tests.

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Fun with IPv6

May 31, 2011 at 6:44 am PST

If you know anything about IPv6, you know that it expands the number of possible IP addresses to an unimaginably large scale. This relieves the pressing shortage of IP addresses being faced today in IPv4, so that there will be addresses available for all the new web sites, printers, cars and light bulbs that will need them.

IPv6 does this trick by using nice, big 128 bit addresses which are noted in hexadecimal.  And the hexadecimal is where some fun comes in.

I’m not kidding: Fun!  The fun is that hexadecimal addresses include, as you know, A,B,C,D,E, and F in addition to numerics. So, now those with a technical bent can actually start to spell some things even in the numeric addresses. It was inevitable that some clever people would combine the hex notation of IPv6 with the Internet tradition of “leetspeak.” (Leets are a kind of cute code, as you probably know, where you can replace letters with numbers that look similar. O becomes zero, L or T become 7, S becomes 5, G becomes 6, etc. Hence the name L33T (or more correctly 1337). Well, with ABCDEF in addition to the numbers, there are some fun possibilities for IP addresses.  Letters? Leets? Imagine the possibilities for clever numeric addresses!)

We’ve already seen a couple in the wild:

Facebook’s IPv6 address:

face:b00c (“facebooc”)

Full address:  2620:0:1cfe:face:b00c::3

A Cisco IPv6 test address:

c:15c0:d06:f00d (“cisco dogfood” as in “test your own dogfood”)

Full address:  2001:420:80:1:c:15c0:d06:f00d

Of course, the only people who will ever see these addresses are people who speak in hextets, which makes them all the more fun. (Most people will never see these addresses, because IPv6 is nicely invisible to users and you’ll still type facebook.com to get the Facebook, for example).

We haven’t seen any others yet, but Cisco’s Phil Remaker suggests that perhaps Starbucks.com could use CAFE or the National Cattlemen’s Association would use BEEF or that the LA County Coroner’s Office (and its gift shop) could use DEAD (if My Chemical Romance or the Grateful Dead‘s dead.net don’t grab it first).

Underneath this humor is a serious fact: The world is running out of IPv4 addresses, and the world’s technology companies and organizations are working together on the upcoming World IPv6 day on June 8th to test IPv6 end to end in action.  You’ll be reading quite a lot more about the benefits and lore of IPv6 in coming days and weeks.

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Cisco Network Management: Now with New and Improved Management Across the IP NGN

Contributed by David Flesh, Sr Manager, Product Marketing, Cisco Network Management Technology Group

If you’re a network administrator, at times it may seem like the IP network traffic and volume of IP addresses and devices you oversee are increasing at an unmanageable pace.  On top of that, the complexity and size of IP networks continue to expand, and network operators are beginning to transition to IPv6 and introduce new technologies and services into their networks (VoIP, video, cloud computing, virtualization, etc.). Network operators need to accelerate provisioning and simplify service activation.

Given the mission-critical importance of DNS and DHCP services in today’s service provider and enterprise networks, you now face huge challenges with IP address management that must be addressed. Without a fast, reliable, and secure DNS service, subscribers’ broadband Internet access will be compromised. If DNS fails, the Internet will fail. Likewise, DHCP is a core network access technology -- every device must be assigned a unique address when connected to the network, a virtually impossible task to undertake manually.

To effectively address these challenges, network administrators need an integrated solution for DNS, DHCP, IPAM (DDI) to effectively manage IP address growth and help automate the adoption of IPv6.

And that’s just what Cisco is now providing.

As part of its service provider network management portfolio, Cisco is introducing Cisco Network Registrar 7.2 which provides an integrated, scalable, reliable solution for DDI across multiple technologies to simplify management of IP addresses and the transition to IPv6. Cisco Network Registrar is the industry’s fastest and most scalable DHCP server - able to assign more than 47,000 leases per second on a Cisco B-Series UCS platform (and 14,000 leases per second on a non-Cisco hardware platform) and support more than 50 million devices in a single customer deployment.

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IPv6 Automatic Addressing

Can anyone remember a time before DHCP?

In those dark days, some poor IT technician maintained a document mapping specific IP addresses to individual devices.  People had to ensure that they connected a new device to the correct subnet cable and that they entered address parameters carefully since a simple typographical error could knock an important server offline.  While protocols like BOOTP emerged to help provision devices, the manual tedium of mapping users to fixed IP addresses remained.

It was this environment that inspired the IPv6 Stateless Address AutoConfiguration (SLAAC) protocol.  The size of the IPv6 address space made it possible for a device to autonomously create a unique address once it learned the local router’s IPv6 prefix.  No requests, no central server, and no manual management.  Any IPv6 device dropped on an active IPv6 network could start communicating right away.

IPv4 users took a different path to “plug and play” networking.  BOOTP evolved into DHCP, where one-to-one mapping gave way to a system in which a server could dynamically hand out time-limited IPv4 address “leases” to devices on a subnet without any user intervention.  In addition, DHCP could administrative parameters (options) to these devices.  Finally, the server provided centralized tracking and administrative control over IP address assignment. Read More »

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