One of the talks I did manage to see at TechEd this year was the one about how they managed the network infrastructure for the conference. Part of the presentation when into a bit of detail about how they went about providing IPv6 connectivity including arranging the backhaul from the convention centre back to the Internet.
The things I remember coming away from the presentation were that:
- The need for IPv6 is growing as IPv4 address space dries up
- There’s not much existing hardware or infrastructure that supports it
- It isn’t easy to get working
- Security (Firewalls) becomes a bigger issue when you aren’t using NAT anymore
The hardware is certainly an issue, so it’s good to see that the manufacturers are starting to release entry-level devices that support IPv6. Internode announced today that they’re now selling the NetComm NB6Plus4 which supports IPv4 and IPv6 in “dual-stack mode”. Billion also have their 7800NL router which operates similarly.
I didn’t knowingly use the IPv6 network at TechEd but the comments from those who did were that it was also surprising how few websites were available – even Microsoft Update didn’t work.
A lot of problems still to be solved - interesting times ahead!