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Cisco Live San Diego 2015 – IPv6 “the wrap”

Cisco Live US landed back in San Diego this year and (together with 25,000 others) I packed my bags for a week of technology dialogue and professional excitement. Here is my personal summary of (what is always) one of my favourite weeks of the year.


As we entered the event, IPv6 deployment in the US was sitting at around 18% with the ARIN IPv4 free pool on the brink of total depletion.

Screenshot 2015-06-26 11.23.52

Once again this year I was lucky enough to be closely involved in the event: as IPv6 Session Group Manager (together with my colleague Eric Vyncke) we are jointly responsible for reviewing all IPv6 content. Within Cisco Live, IPv6 has risen to a position where we are now reviewing and instilling content in almost every single Breakout and Techtorial that includes IP as a component part. This year our specific reviews touched:

  • 30 Technical Breakouts
  • 3 Techtorials
  • 4 Hands-on Labs

There were many other sessions that made reference to IPv6 but these were the specific sessions Eric and I reviewed.

We also directly insert into the program, and this year we positioned 3 specific IPv6 sessions:

Here you see the audience listening to “Addressing Networking challenges with latest Innovations in IPv6 – BRKRST-2616” (one of the last sessions offered in San Diego):


This session created a particular “buzz” for a number of reasons:

Mark Townsley did a fantastic job of wrapping up all of the work we have been doing in IPv6-Centric networking since announcing the effort to the world just over a year ago. This was also formally the “debut” of IPv6-Centric at Cisco Live (expect more in future). Follow along via:

The IPv6 Technical Breakouts reached a total audience of over 2500 attendees. Looking at the surveys, it seems everyone was very happy with the education delivered.

The audience feedback on these sessions was really nice to read:

  • A lot of very valuable info
  • Good info. Well presented.
  • Great content and great speaker.
  • Interesting and very well explain
  • Interesting developments coming in IPv6 with some slick solutions.
  • This was the best session in Cisco Live 2015.
  • Great idea having audience to do an address exercise 
  • Liked the exercise at the end. Good content and explanation of things to avoid.
  • Loved the exercise

My congratulations to all of the Cisco Live IPv6 speakers and thanks to all for their great contributions. In case you missed anything and would like to review recordings of any of the content delivered in San Diego (or for that matter at other Cisco Live Events) then do not forget that content is all archived on line:

Cisco Live 365 Content Archive

San Diego content will appear in early July.

I was also involved in an excellent IPv6 Panel discussing “Experiences with IPv6 Deployment“.

This panel had some great external subject matter experts and practitioners including:

  • John Jason Brzozowski – Fellow and Chief Architect, IPv6, Comcast Cable
  • Rich Lewis – IPv6 Product Manager, Oracle Corporation
  • Stephanie Schuller – Global Infrastructure Architecture & Strategy, LinkedIn
  • Chip Popiviciu – President and CEO, Nephos6
  • Ed Horley – Principal Solutions Architect, Groupware Technology
  • Alain Fiocco – Sr Director, IPv6 High Impact Project, Cisco
  • Eric Vyncke – Distinguished Engineer, Cisco
  • Jon Woolwine – Distinguished IT Engineer, Cisco

The panel are all in the picture below:



Among the many interesting topics discussed were:

  • Address management and assignment
  • Security
  • Deployment Best practices

Speaking during the panel Jon Woolwine shared how Cisco rolled out IPv6 internally:

”We were able to absorb most of the cost of our IPv6 deployment by using our existing network lifecycle process to upgrade IOS versions and lay down the proper IPv6 configuration across thousands of network devices”

We asked the audience about the Industry they represented and their specific plans for (and roadblocks to) IPv6 deployment. Some of the feedback captured is shown below. We had a majority of Enterprises in the audience. Over half of our audience had deployed or would deploy IPv6 in the next 18 months with a third of those actually deploying IPv6 within the infrastructure itself.

Screenshot 2015-06-24 17.15.05

Screenshot 2015-06-24 17.24.05

Screenshot 2015-06-24 18.01.35

Later I asked the panel for their personal observations on the session:

Ed Horley observed:

“It is exciting to see the interest in IPv6 that was present in the IPv6 panel session. The questions from the audience were excellent and my fellow panel members had incredible practical knowledge to share. Clearly, there is a shift happening where enterprises are starting to realize the impact that IPv6 might have and are starting to investigate a way forward.”

Chip Popiviciu said:

The size of the audience, the questions, the interaction and overall energy displayed during this panel highlighted industry’s clear change in perception, interest and prioritization towards IPv6. It is exciting to see IPv6 finally being understood and appreciated for what it really is, a foundational enabler of IT transformation”

Alain Fiocco commented:

“The Internet is now a dual stack global communication system, the debate whether this is going to happen or not, is long over. We did not get questions about “why or when should IPv6 be deployed in my organisation”, it was mainly a discussion about “how”. I believe the audience really appreciated the unfiltered feedback from people who have “done the job” . There is a real sense of urgency, and the realization that it is a lot better to deploy IPv6 on your own terms”

Meet the Engineer was buzzing with meetings (both organised and ad hoc). I had personal involvement in 3 whilst in San Diego. I captured a view of the Meeting Hub area below:


Eric and I also drove IPv6 within the rest of the Cisco Live program. Our span of focus here included:

  • Ensuring the event runs on IPv6-enabled web platforms
  • Ensuring the event makes IPv6 available to attendees on the WiFi
  • Highlighting IPv6 usage in the World of Solutions and DevNet Zones

Leveraging Cisco infrastructures protocols and APIs that support IPv6 including Management, Monitoring, DDOS mitigation, Troubleshooting Configuration and Address Management, Cisco Partners products and solution offerings are critical to help our customers enable and leverage IPv6. Within the World of Solutions over 250 Cisco partners exhibited all that is new and innovative in the networking world and once again we were highlighting IPv6 Enabled demonstrations with the IPv6 Enabled Logo:

Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 18.47.38

We specifically found IPv6 running in many demonstrations including:

This is by no means an exhaustive list of all Partners who enabled IPv6 but these were the ones I personally visited and tagged.

I captured many of these on picture for you to enjoy here.

We also created brand new program for Cisco Live San Diego, which we called IPv6 Ambassadors. The idea was to spread awareness of IPv6 deployment status using the Cisco 6lab site as a vehicle for discussion and learning. Adorned with these cool shirts and jackets carrying the logo of the Cisco 6lab site were a number of my colleagues including Alain Fiocco (rear view !)Tim Martin, Fred Baker and Vernoika McKillop who are shown below:






In total we covered over 39 hours of “Ambassador time” socialising the overall state of IPv6 deployment. Please look for IPv6 Ambassadors in future Cisco Live events.

Cisco Live never stops and is back again in November in Cancun. My personal involvement will resume again shortly as we start planning our content program for Cisco Live Europe in Berlin in February 2016 and of course back in the US in Las Vegas in July where we will continue to raise the flag for IPv6.


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Government’s Journey to IPv6

Last month, I had the opportunity to attend and present at the 2015 North American IPv6 Summit. Several hundred IPv6 experts and networking professionals attended from across the country to discuss the IPv6 adoption, hear about the latest IPv6 research and learn what others are doing to prepare for the transition to IPv6.

To refresh, IPv6 is the next-generation Internet Protocol (IP), the communications protocol that provides identification for computers on networks and allows computers to talk to each other. The existing Internet Protocol, IPv4, has a finite number of IP addresses, limiting the number of devices that can be given a new address. In fact, the free pool held by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) was depleted in 2011 and the American Registry of Internet Numbers (ARIN) has less than 3.5 million IP addresses left, a supply so small it could be completely exhausted by June of this year. IPv6’s large number of new IP addresses make it a foundational building block for the future of the Internet, especially as increasingly more devices become connected as part of the Internet of Things (IoT).

U.S. Government Should Lead

It’s not just that government agencies should be migrating to IPv6 themselves, it’s that they should be leading that charge given our history. Public Internet was born through the U.S. government, and as Internet leaders, we need to continue to be at the forefront of the Internet’s evolution. Currently, Belgium is leading the world in IPv6 capability with 49 percent adoption. By comparison, the United States is at 35 percent.

The U.S. government has issued several mandates and deadlines to facilitate the IPv6 migration among agencies. The most recent one in 2014 called for all government agencies provide IPv6 connectivity to their user community. However, despite the mandate deadlines, many government agencies are struggling to make the switch. Out of over 1,200 federal agency websites, less than 500 are IPv6 enabled. It’s time for the U.S. government to start leading this necessary transition.

Why Migrate Today?

Beyond simply providing more IP addresses, there are business benefits to transitioning for both private and public sector organizations. IPv6 will enable organizations to take advantage of numerous opportunities presented by IoT and the Internet of Everything (IoE) – the networked connection of people, devices, data and processes. For instance, future Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies need to be IPv6 enabled as new devices will automatically be IPv6 connected. Further, IPv6 will allow agencies to achieve value from future connections to help optimize business functions, support mobile workforces, improve security and enhance citizen services.

There will be an estimated 50 billion connected devices by 2020, which means migration is not an option – it’s a necessity given how few IPv4 addresses remain. If your organization is not IPv6 enabled, you won’t be able to connect natively with these new devices. In order improve network operations and processes in the future, private and public sector organizations will need to transition to IPv6.

So, why are some organizations and agencies putting off migrating? Simple – because change is scary. Organizations have been managing the legacy protocol for over 30 years, and there is uncertainty that comes with transitioning to something different. Also, many don’t fully understand the big picture benefits. By getting hung up on potential deployment challenges, IT managers and network engineers overlook the fact that their organizations won’t be able to leverage the power of IoE tomorrow unless they start transitioning to IPv6 today.

Create Your IPv6 Transition Plan

So what can government do to start leading the switch to IPv6? Below are five key steps to migrating to IPv6:

  1. Identify the business value and impact.
  2. Create a project team of IT professionals, technical business owners and an assigned project manager to manage progress and address any outstanding issues.
  3. Engage in assessment of equipment and assets for infrastructure readiness.
  4. Develop architectural solutions.
  5. Test, monitor and deploy IPv6.

As an industry leader in IP technology and pioneer of IPv6 technology since its beginning in 1996, Cisco is well positioned to assist government in this process from beginning to end. We have experts that can help your organization walk through each step above; from evaluating IPv6 readiness to offering deployment services, our IPv6 can expertise has helped organizations save time, money and resources. In addition, we have the widest range of platforms and features for IPv6 compared to any other vendor, which enables us to provide customized solutions sets to meet the needs of customers.

Ultimately, IPv6 is the global plan of record for a sustainable, scalable Internet, and public sector organizations need to migrate to continue improving operations and meet citizens’ needs. Click here to learn more about the IPv6 transition and how Cisco can help.


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The Secure Way to IPv6 – Use Your Proxy!

When asked about IPv6, many companies are aware that they must do something, but are not sure what is the best way to approach IPv6. In my talks with customers, I found that the unfamiliarity with IPv6 is one of the biggest obstacles. So, to gain experience with IPv6, there are several paths to go down, from the inside-out approach (start within an internal area and work outwards) to the outside-in (work from the internet towards the internal network). One very easy way to start with IPv6 is to use your existing proxy infrastructure. I want to show you how to do this by using the Cisco Web Security Appliance (WSA).

Read More »

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Fosdem 2015: a status update

As is our tradition by now a team of volunteers helped out with the network setup and operation of Free and Open-source Software Developers’ European Meeting (FOSDEM). The network was very similar to the one used last year and we wanted to report on the evolution of the traffic we measured.

First the bad news: due to the increased use of IPv6 we have less accurate data. This is because while IPv4 uses a unique MAC address which we can use to count the number of clients, IPv6 uses ephemeral addresses, and one physical device can use multiple global IPv6 addresses. In fact we noticed one client using more than 100 global IPv6 addresses over a period of 240 seconds. Why this client is doing this is a mystery.

The unique link local IPv6 addresses were only kept in the neighbour cache of the router for a limited time, so we have no good numbers for the amount of clients. The good news is we can still use traffic counters to compare with the previous year.

Internet traffic evolution

Internet traffic evolution

Compared to 2014 we saw a 20% increase in traffic to more than 2 terabytes of traffic exchanged with the internet.

Fosdem 2015 wireless traffic distribution

Fosdem 2015 wireless traffic distribution

More interestingly the IPv4 traffic on the wireless network decreased by almost 20% with the net result that now the IPv6 traffic is 60% of the traffic on the wireless network, while IPv4 traffic is only 40%. So IPv6 traffic is 1.5 times the IPv4 traffic. This is a good indicator that most clients now can use NAT64 and can live on a IPv6 only network.

Internet IPv4 versus IPv6 for Fosdem 2014-2015

Internet IPv4 versus IPv6 for Fosdem 2014-2015

On the internet side the IPv4 traffic increased by 5% while the IPv6 traffic almost doubled. As we use NAT64 to give access to IPv4 only hosts using IPv6 only on the internal network this measurement is a clear indication that more content is now available via IPv6.

For next year we plan to setup some more tracking systems in advance so we can investigate the number of clients on the wireless network and why some clients are using hundreds of global IPv6 addresses.

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Our Ecosystem Begins Here @Ciscocloud

As Cisco prepares for Cisco Live Melbourne #clmel, I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight our @Ciscocloud Intercloud partnership with Telstra

The following Q&A session between executives of our partnered companies identifies the unique challenges of our current business environment and the rapidly changing needs of our customers. Interviewed by Stuart Robbins, the participants in our inaugural blog are Ken Owens, Cloud Services CTO from Cisco, and Tim Otten, GM Cloud Strategy and Platforms from Telstra.

Q: Cisco’s strategy is to create solutions built upon intelligent networks that solve our customers’ challenges. As a key technology partner, Telstra’s diverse customers present unique opportunities for a new generation of solutions for those customers – can you tell us about how our combined capabilities will help those customers be successful?

[Otton, Tim J] Networks are increasingly important to the delivery of services as we shift to “the Cloud,” and the concurrent profusion of data, workforce mobility, distributed application environments, and the hybrid infrastructures supporting those applications. Both Cisco and Telstra are committed to delivering highly secure, high-performance intelligent network capabilities.

These networks must be thoroughly responsive to an ever-changing set of user and application requirements – adaptive, flexible, and resilient. Both companies have a rich tradition of global insight gained from a relentless focus on customer requirements.

[Owens, Ken] Telstra is one of the industry’s most advanced solution providers, with a noteworthy history of successful technology transformations in telecommunications. From the earliest days of IT outsourcing, and managed hosting, and now as we shift to the Cloud, Telstra has provided true leadership to the industry during these transformations.

Like Cisco, they view their customers’ strategic objectives as Priority 1 and will do whatever is necessary to make their customers successful. For more than 25 years, Cisco and Telstra have guided the market through each new technological shift, with exceptional people leading the way.

Q: One aspect of the changing enterprise landscape is the “blurred” boundaries between large enterprises in business ecosystems. While the basic principles remain important (resilient architectures, reliable networks, responsive applications), what are some of the emerging challenges in this “ecosystem first” world?


[Otton, Tim J] The business landscape has changed. Cloud, Mobility, Social Media, advanced analytics, and open platforms are also changing the landscape for service creation and innovation. Increasingly, service creation will emerge both within and beyond (intra- and inter-organizational) boundaries to better serve a growing number of mobile users and a project-oriented workforce.

In order to support connectivity as well as enable full integration with many external partners and providers, businesses are now required to ‘open’ their IT environment. Increasingly, organizations are choosing to expose their own systems and proprietary data to third-parties, creating “greater value” by encouraging innovative use of a company’s intellectual assets. Software applications are distributed, both geographically and architecturally. All of these factors alter the connectivity/security paradigms of traditional enterprise IT.

[Owens, Ken] Tim is right on, and the exciting element of this model is that it’s driven by the customer! This is not a consumer fad or one-time remodel, this is the pace and speed by which business must adopting to the requirements of their customers and the rapidly changing marketplace. A successful business today requires a flexible set of services and capabilities to quickly adapt to this changing landscape. Together, Cisco and Telstra have a proven track record of enabling innovation to address the changing needs of the businesses we support.

Q: Providing exceptional products and services to Enterprise IT is familiar territory to both Cisco and Telstra, and this common ground is one reason why the Cisco-Telstra partnership makes great sense. As we move beyond IT, we’re also being asked to directly address the needs of business departments (marketing, product management, customer support). How do we adapt to meet those needs?


[Otton, Tim J] We need to develop a deeper understanding of the different “lines of business” within the Enterprise. We need to better understand what drives their business and the market environments in which they operate. In other words, we need to become an enabler of business solutions rather than simply selling more technology. Our focus needs to be increasingly on the business outcomes we can deliver to our customers.
We need equip our sales teams to communicate those solutions, to be able to engage customers in conversations that start with business issues and proceed from there to provision enabling technologies rather than starting (and often finishing with) technology alone.
At the same time, we need to better support IT departments so that these services can be integrated into the overall Enterprise network architecture- – -ensuring that these distributed services are secure, and optimized to perform reliably. Telstra and Cisco need to be seen as enabling partners, and not just suppliers.

[Owens, Ken] The needs of the business can be vast, complicated, and rapidly evolving to meet the needs of a changing marketplace. Cisco and Telstra are leaders in business transformation. The key to success in this ever-changing environment is to provide leadership with speed, agility, innovative leadership to assist each customer’s ability to adapt to the changes. Of course, Tim’s right, we also need to help IT executives quickly transition not only their technology, but also their processes and practices.

Q: The recipe seems simple enough = one part: exceptional technology with the associated expertise, and one part: an evolved partnership methodology (i.e., Partnership 2.0) that will serve as the foundation for what our companies can accomplish together.

One last question. Imagine what success looks like for the joint Cisco-Telstra effort in two years: what are the core behaviors/values that we’ll be most proud to have embraced, when we glance back? In other words, what are the central organizational principles that will serve to anchor this new style of ecosystem development?


[Otton, Tim J] My vision for the partnership is that we have developed an advanced understanding of the requirements of stakeholders – whether it be IT, LOB, or end-users – within the customers we served and are singularly focused on the business outcomes that we can jointly deliver for our customers.

[Owens, Ken] The demands of Enterprise 2.0 require an infrastructure that is both elastic and reliable, flexible yet secure. Organizations, too, will require those very characteristics. To accomplish this,“Governance 2.0” and “Partnership 2.0” become framework components of that new ecosystem in service of our customer’s transformed world. As Tim stated, the business outcomes and continuously delivering business value are the key principles.

Thank you Tim for you time to discuss the joint journey we are embarking on.

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