IPv6 Council - Belgium
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BricoZone

Monday 30 May 2011

BricoZone activated IPV6, I did that indeed as my contribution for the World IPV6 day. I’m the publisher of “bricozone”, this website is one of the largest forums/community in Belgium, speaking about home improvement/DIY, in French.

I’m a former network admin at Skynet. Eric asked me to share my experience, as a publisher, of switching IPV6 on.

First of all, the “network level” job is actually being done by my hosting provider, OVH, which is a pioneer in IPV6 deployment. My job was to install an IPV6 compliant Linux kernel, activate the interfaces, configure the DNS, and configure the software.

A website like mine runs on different webservers simultaneously ( static content, dynamic content, backup sites, etc), so IPV6 switching is not as simple as activating a new VHost in Apache. There is a world of difference between activating IPV6 on a blog on a test server, and activating IPV6 on a busy website.

However to be honest, IPV6 activation took just a few hours, mostly spent documenting myself.

  1. Subscribe for a tunnel for my own connectivity. I chose Gogo6’s “gogoclient”. Very easy.
  2. Activate kernel level IPV6 support. Be “pingable” from the IPV6 world.
  3. Activate IPV6 software configuration (learn how to activate V6 virtualhosts on misc. server software. )
  4. Activate AAAA records carefully (using a V6 enabled DNS provider!)
  5. Check logs to see if everything goes smoothly, surfing dual-stacked
    with gogoclient.

My experience has been very positive.

It’s a real satisfaction to see the first IPV6 addresses in the logs, or in the server statuses. I was *very surprised* to see quite a lot of actual V6 traffic, mainly from France’s FREE, which seems to provide dual stacked V4/V6 set top boxes. I’ve got more than 24000 IPV6 hits per *day* on the static content webserver for example. Mostly Free, Engineering schools, academic networks (Renater, CERN.) I thought that IPV6 traffic would be close to zero, only used by a few sysadmins and tunneled geeks !

There are, however, limitations to my IPV6 test.

First of all, there is no way for me to replicate network level fail over on IPV6. If my main IPV6 webservers are down, all I could do is DNS fail over. This is due to the fact that OVH does not yet provide
IPV6 failover IPs.

Another limitation is that OVH’s IPV6 addresses are all allocated to France. BricoZone (and all OVH IPV6 websites) are “French sites” as far as IPV6 RIPE WHOIS is concerned. This is a pity, and could actually be a problem for google crawling.

Finally, modern websites include a lot of external content, like statistics scripts, facebook buttons, jquery libraries, ad banners, etc. None of this content is IPV6 ready. A “pure IPV6 surfer” would get a lot of broken links. There is nothing I can do about this. Even if “google” is supporting the IPV6 world day, it’s just on their web front ends. Currently, they are far from ready on the back end side; gmail cannot even receive IPV6 mail ( MX servers have no AAAA records).

Here is my experience.

Cédric A.

PS: OVH will activate AAAA records on their “shared hosting server” for
IPV6 day, more than 2 Million domain names (mostly small businesses
websites) are going to be accessible thru IPV6 that day.

View online : www.bricozone.be

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