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The RIPE NCC and the World IPv6 Day

Mirjam Kühne — 19 Jan 2011
Contributors: Daniel Karrenberg
The RIPE NCC supports the World IPv6 Day scheduled for 8 June 2011. Read more about plans for the event and the role that the RIPE NCC will play.

In order to encourage organisations to deploy IPv6, a group of content and access providers including Facebook, Google and Yahoo together with the Internet Society, have agreed on a single day when they will "switch on" IPv6, or make all of their content available over IPv6.  This "World IPv6 Day" will take place on 8 June 2011. 

One of the goals of this day will be to identify potential issues that users may encounter when accessing a web site that is available via IPv6. The expectation is that most users will not even notice the change and only a very small fraction will face any problems. This in itself will be a good motivator for other organisations to deploy IPv6 for all their services. We welcome this initiative and will be supporting the effort in any way we can.

The RIPE NCC already makes all content available on IPv6. So we will not be changing or testing anything on the day.  Our support will be in monitoring and measuring the effects of the changes made by the other participants.  We do have a wide range of expertise measuring and monitoring the Internet. We also routinely publish IPv6 related measurements. See for instance Measuring IPv6 at Web Clients and Caching Resolvers , Networks with IPv6 Over Time 6to4 - How Bad is it Really? and the study about IPv6 RIPEness .

Here is our current thinking about how we will support the World IPv6 Day. We will develop these ideas with the RIPE Measurement Analysis and Tools working group ( MAT WG ) and publish details as they become clear. Your feedback is appreciated. Please leave comments under this article or contact us at labs _at_ ripe _dot_ net .

The RIPE NCC will provide an "IPv6 Dashboard" before, during and after the event. This dashboard will allow participants to monitor both DNS and reachability:   

  • DNS AAAA/A

We will query the DNS for domain names of participants and report the results, particularly whether AAAA records are returned in DNS responses.

  • reachability ICMP/ICMP6
  • content availability via HTTP over IPv4 and IPv6

We will measure whether the servers of participants are available on IPv4 and IPv6 using ICMP. If possible we will also do measurements fetching content with special consideration to path MTU.

  • traceroutes

As far as possible we will also execute traceroutes to the servers of participants over IPv4 and IPv6.

We will do these measurements from as many vantage points in the Internet as is feasible using RIPE Test Traffic Measurement (TTM) boxes, RIPE Atlas probes and other platforms. Using the RIPE Atlas prototype for such a large measurement is ambitious but doable. It may require that we suspend other measurements for a couple of days around the IPv6 day itself.

The World IPv6 Day is going to attract a large number of participants. We do not expect to be able to measure and monitor all of them. We will make a selection and prefer participating RIPE NCC members, TTM subscribers and RIPE Atlas sponsors. Then we will add other participants based on our judgment about the interest from the RIPE community.

Beyond running our own measurements, we are also looking at exchanging data with others and making measurements available on the data store. We will also consider playing a coordination role for all measurements if necessary.

We will develop the details about the monitoring and measurements with the RIPE MAT working group and in coordination with the event organisers. We expect to have the Dashboard available several weeks before the  World IPv6 Day.

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