Last Thursday we went to the IPv6 Council to speak about IPv6-only hosting and to exchange information with other networks about the state of IPv6 in the UK.
— Veronika McKillop (@VqMcKillop) December 12, 2019
IPv4 address exhaustion is becoming ever more real: the USA and Europe have now run out, and Asia, Africa and Latin America all have less than a year of highly-restricted supply left.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, we’re now seeing real progress in deploying IPv6 across the board.
The major connectivity providers gave an update on their progress. Sky already have an effectively complete deployment across their UK network, so instead they told us about the Sky Italia build-out that launches early next year. It will initially be 100% dual stack but they’re planning to migrate to single stack IPv6 with IPv4 access provided by MAP-T as soon as possible. BT/EE have IPv6 virtually everywhere and take-up is rising as HomeHubs are retired and replaced with SmartHubs. Three are actively enabling IPv6 over their network, as we noticed last month:
— Mythic Beasts (@Mythic_Beasts) November 15, 2019
Smaller providers are also making progress; Hyperoptic and Community Fibre have both essentially completed their dual stack rollout this year, with both organisations having to consider Network Address Translation due to lack of IPv4 addresses.
We’ve been working hard for many years to make IPv6-only hosting a practical option for our customers, allowing us to considerably expand the lifespan of our IPv4 allocation (which, thanks to a few acquisitions and being a relatively old company, is a reasonable size).
We heard from Ungliech, who started more recently and don’t have a large historical allocation of IPv4 addresses. They gave an interesting talk about their IPv6-only hosting and how it’s an urgent requirement for a new entrant because a RIPE final allocation of 1024 addresses isn’t enough to start a traditional hosting company. Thanks to RIPE running out last month, any new competitor has it four times harder with only 256 addresses to get them started.
We also had interesting updates from Microsoft about their continuing journey to IPv6-only internally in their corporate network, and the pain of continuing to support IPv4 private addressing. When they acquire a company they already have overlapping internal networks, and making internal services available to the wider organisation is an ongoing difficult challenge.
There was also a fascinating talk from SITA about providing network and infrastructure to aviation. There is a huge amount of networking involved and the RFC1918 private IPv4 address space is no longer large enough to enable a large airport. They have a very strong push to use IPv6 even on networks not connected to the public internet.