Wondering which drivers will boost future IPv6 developments?

By: Nicolas Fischbach - 10/02/2012

Nicolas Fischbach is Director Strategy, Architecture and Innovation. Nicolas has been with Colt for over 14 years starting out as an IP engineer. Before moving into this role he was in charge of Security Engineering and Operations. Nicolas holds an Engineer degree in Networking and Distributed Computing and is a recognised authority on Service Provider security as well as on next-generation architectures.

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IPv4 address exhaustion is growing in people’s minds. Internet Society recently announced IPv6 Launch Day (June 6th 2012!), but nothing new, as there’s been much activity in recent years and many service providers like Colt have been very active in preparing their networks, systems and products to support IPv6! As well as manage the IPv4/IPv6 coexistence and long-term transition.The sky isn’t falling, and CIOs whilst needing to be prepared, can leave it to service providers!

Like last year, Colt is providing business IPv6 connectivity to the Ethernet+MPLS and v6 World events which are happening this week in Paris. I’ve been hopping between the two events, had meetings with vendors and had many discussions friends and peers. As usual, the two congresses are great, with a good mix of information sharing, learning and networking.


The Colt network for the event has been working like a charm and our colleagues at Cisco and iBahn have done a great job on the wireless connectivity. In addition, I’ve also taken on a second role (limited for the duration of the congress, for those of you who have my email address or mobile number): IPv6 first line helpdesk! Let me share a couple of thoughts.

IPv6 Internet != IPv4 Internet

“IPv6 needs to be as fast as IPv4” is a comment I heard earlier this week. Different routes, via different peerings, to different data centres, using different load balancing techniques – but the IPv6 round-trip-time should be as close to the one seen in IPv4. We might get there (or close), and that’s what all those efforts, last year’s IPv6 World Day and the coming IPv6 Launch Day (June 6th 2012!) events are about, right? I don’t believe the IPv6 Internet will ever be a copy or mirror the IPv4 Internet, and for many reasons. “Turn another peering on” isn’t a universal fix. There are political, commercial, technical and operational reasons why the IPv6 Internet will be a younger brother of the IPv4 Internet. Part of the DNA will be common but not all.

But what’s really great: we are all learning in the process, we are improving the IPv6 Internet and it is maturing. Like the early days of the Internet and in collaborative manner, it’s like having a second child and building on the lessons learned from the first one. OK, truth is you won’t remember most of it but I liked the analogy.

IPv6 == Security Risk?

Although the event is still ongoing there are some interesting traffic trends to note. While there are more IPv6 compatible devices present on the network we observe less IPv6 traffic. This could be due to IPv6 now being on CIO/CSO’s radar and perceived security concerns, much like like WiFi years ago. As such the IT departments deactivate this function on laptop and devices, likely including enterprise-managed BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). Is this the case in your environment?

If (driver == true) Accelerate_IPv6_deployment()

It seems that while the momentum is still there frictions have slowed entreprise IPv6 deployment plans and projects: is this down to a shift of priorities in the latter part of 2011? On the service provider side most of us are progressing well with in-flight projects, and there seems to be a consensus that the systems (OSS and BSS) side is the most challenging one.

The question is what driver is going to fuel the next stage of IPv6 deployment? Doing more on the content side? Keep progressing the access side (user and CPE)? Is M2M (Machine-to-Machine) traffic going to be the catalyst? Or all of these?

For sure the Internet of things, especially this fairy tale that all fridges in the APAC regions have an IPv6 stack, are connected to the Internet and self-order foods when needed, will keep pushing us ahead ! I want one too.

Colt is providing business IPv6 connectivity to the Ethernet+MPLS and v6 World events held in Paris and supporting live demos. To hear more about Colt’s involvement in the IPv6 evolution, come and listen to Javier Benitez, one of Colt’s senior network architect, at 2.40PM CET on Friday 10 February: Colt: IPv6 for Business Customers

Javier will present Colt’s views on what will come after dual-stack deployments, how to manage business customers during the transition, how and why to avoid CG-NAT and finally present Colt’s vision on the future of Customer Premises Equipment (CPE).


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Eric Vyncke says

22/02/2012 7:17:41 PM |

Indeed, I also see CISO deciding to disable IPv6 on managed assets... Meaning that they are repeating the 2000 mistake: as WiFi is not secure, then do not deploy corporate/managed WiFi AP for security. End result was that employees deployed their own (rogue and unsecure) AP... The decision actually hurt security. For IPv6, it is more secure to deploy native IPv6 (blocking all 'hidden' automatic tunnel) and leverage IPv6 IPS/firewall (the one they already have).

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