Does IPv6 Even Work? - Page 2

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Mar 1, 2011
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The other issue Winters has noticed is that IPv6 isn't always enabled on devices, even when they are IPv6 ready. The problem from the vendor side is that since IPv6 is not actually being widely used, use case issues that would show up in production use haven't all been discovered yet.

The other issue still being resolved has to do with transition mechanisms for running IPv4 and IPv6. Winters noted that each operator seems to want a different transition mechanism whether it's 6RD, DS-Lite or otherwise.

"I think now that people are starting to deploy IPv6 we'll get a nice set of transition mechanisms," Winters said. "For so long there have been so many options and no one has really known which ones really matter."

In general though, Winters noted that he used to see more issues with dual IPv4/IPv6 stack implementations in past years. He added that the operating systems vendors have done a good job of cleaning up issues.

There are however still issues when it comes to applications.

IPv6 application problems

"There are still known issues with DNS records, and if you have a AAAA record and an A record, what happens to your application?" Winters said. "You go to the AAAA and if it's not there, your application will hang."

AAAA is the IPv6 record type in DNS, while the A record is for IPv4. Winters noted that it is surprising how some applications will only take the top record from a DNS resolver, whatever that record may be. He added that there is an IETF draft called, Happy Eyeballs which attempts to help resolve that issue.

So after all is said and done, is IPv6 actually ready?

"I think we're moving in that direction," Winters said. "I do think that the core routers and operating systems are ok, it's everything in between. It's the cell phone, printers and data storage all that stuff is going to have to move and that's the last bit.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the networkfor technology professionals.

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