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2015 North American IPv6 Summit Review

This week was the 2015 North American IPv6 Summit in Denver, Colorado put on by the Rocky Mountain IPv6 Task Force (RMv6TF).  This is the eighth annual IPv6 event in Denver.  This year’s event provided a fun way to learn about the latest in IPv6 deployment information and offered a great environment to collaborate and meet others who share a common interest in IPv6.

North American IPv6 Task Forces

Many countries around the world have local organizations that help promote the adoption of IPv6.  All of these organizations are affiliated with the international IPv6 Forum in some way or another.  In North America there is a set of regional IPv6 Task Forces that coordinate IPv6 activities.  The following picture shows all of these groups and the regions they cover.

The Rocky Mountain IPv6 Task Force (RMv6TF) was first formed back in 2007 as kind of an “IPv6 Club”.  The organization is a non-profit, non-paid volunteer organization that provides education on IPv6 and works to promote use of the IPv6 protocol in the broader community.  The RMv6TF uses its resources to help put on one large event annually.  It is incredible to think about all the hard work that the RMv6TF volunteers have put forth over the past eight years.

There are other IPv6 events held annually, and you should try to get involved in your regional IPv6 Task Force and attend an IPv6 event nearby.

Evolving Attendance at the IPv6 Summit

The IPv6 Summit conference has been taking place now for eight years in the Denver Colorado area.  The event has changed venues; starting out at the University of Denver (DU), moving to hotels downtown, and this year at a commercial meeting space facilitated by ViaWest.  The size of the venue for the event has grown and scaled back as the interest in IPv6 has changed over the past decade.

The attendees have also changed over the years.  In the early years of the IPv6 Summit there were many service providers attending the event.  There have also been many people from U.S. federal government; e.g., department and agency attendees, learning about IPv6 to help meet their federal mandates.  Organizations who make IT products and offer IT services have also been attending the IPv6 event for years.  Now commercial enterprise organizations are starting to attend the event.  However, we have not yet seen the long-anticipated deluge of enterprise IT staff coming to the IPv6 conferences.  (Maybe that will start to occur “any-day-now.”)  Regardless, we have had many attendees who repeatedly come to the IPv6 summit year-over-year to learn about the latest updates in IPv6 adoption and best practices.

Virtual Conference Platform

The IPv6 Summit conference has been publicly testing online streaming of the conference proceedings.  The RMv6TF has used a virtual conference platform provided by 6Connex that allows attendees to have a virtual conference experience.  The attendees can roam between rooms, watch the live content, chat with other physical and virtual attendees in the lounges, and ask questions of the speakers via in-room staff.  Sponsors each set up a virtual trade-show booth with information, PDFs, and documents on their products/services.  The remote attendees can get that information and also chat with an online representative from that vendor about their offerings.

The online and streaming content is available over both IPv4 and IPv6.  Attendees get access to all the online content and recordings and documents for 1 year after the event.  Anyone worldwide can experience this IPv6 conference through this virtual conference portal.  It is the next-best thing to being there.

This Year’s Presentations

For yet another year, Dan Torbet from ARRIS has helped to coordinate the presenters and speakers for the IPv6 Summit event.  The event organizers have strived to continue to keep the content of the conference new and fresh.  Many of this year’s presentations were about how IPv6 is being applied and the latest status of IPv6 adoption.  In the early years of the IPv6 summit event, more presentations were about IPv4 address exhaustion and making a business case for IPv6.  Many of the past few year’s presentations are now about how IPv6 is being used in modern network architectures and the value organizations are deriving from the use of IPv6.

Wednesday April 22nd

The first presentation on Wednesday was “Pardon the Disruption: IPv6, SDN and Other Scary Things” by Jeff Doyle, now with Big Switch Networks.  Jeff talked about the disruptive trends he is observing in the networking industry that are making life difficult for network administrators.  His presentation focused on the three topics of IPv6, SDN, and “bare metal” hardware devices.

Tom Coffeen, IPv6 Evangelist at InfoBlox gave an informative and entertaining presentation titled “30 Minutes to Perfect Abs (and an IPv6 Address Plan).  Tom covered many of the concepts of IPv6 Address Planning book that he just wrote.  He went through many examples of what would make a great IPv6 addressing plan and what are the common pitfalls to avoid.

The next presentation was on “IP Address Management for the Internet of Things” by Tim Rooney from BT Diamond IP.  His presentation covered IoT protocol stacks and common use cases.  His presentation covered how IPv4 and or IPv6 could be used on an IoT system and IPv6 address planning and assignment to IoT devices.

Tim Martin with Cisco gave an in-depth presentation on IPv6 Multicasting.  He presented technical details of IPv6 multicast addresses and how they are used.  He covered how IPv6 uses multicast on a LAN and the considerations of multicast over wireless communications medium.  Tim also covered how modern zero-configuration protocols are now using IPv6 multicast communications.

The next presentation was titled “6PE: The IPv6 Bolt-On For MPLS Networks” presented by Chris Lenart from Verizon.  Chris covered the differences between 6PE and showed IPv6 configuration examples.  He covered BGP configuration styles and use of 6VPE.  He outlined the advantages and disadvantages of the different approaches of deployment.

Jordan Gottlieb, Principal Engineer with Charter Communications gave a technical deep dive presentation on “Mapping of Address and Port (MAP) and ISPs Perspective.  Jordan’s presentation dove right into the differences between MAP-T and MAP-E.  He reviewed the function of the MAP Customer Edge (CE) and the MAP Border Relay (BR) devices as well as the mapping rules.  His presentation covered how legacy IPv4 traffic is tunneled, but IPv6 traffic is handled natively.  It also went over the bits in the Port-set Identifier (PSID) and the formation of the IPv6 addresses.

The last presentation of the day was titled “IPv6 Open Stack Challenges and Successes” by Ciprian Popoviciu from Nephos6.  Chip tied together why cloud technologies and IPv6 are tied together.  Chip covered how IPv6 is supported in OpenStack and the challenges with getting IPv6 working in an OpenStack environment. He also covered the pending OpenStack releases.  Chip then went through a use case and reviewed the lessons learned.

Thursday April 23rd

The first presentation on Thursday was by Mark Kosters, CTO of American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) on the “State of IPv6 from ARIN”.  He talked about ARIN’s history with deploying IPv6 on their own infrastructure.  Mark also covered the processes for IPv4 address transfers that are documented in the ARIN Number Resource Policy Manual (NRPM).  For example, IPv4 address transfers are allowed in the case of mergers and acquisitions (Section 8.2), transfers to specified recipients (Section 8.3), and for Inter-RIR transfers (Section 8.4).  Mark also showed graphs on IPv6 allocations that ARIN has made and reinforced how easy it is for an organization to acquire IPv6 addresses.

Dawn Bedard, Architect in the Microsoft Network Services group, spoke about the “Challenges of Getting IPv6 Operational” in their own networks.  She spoke about how organizations should strive for coordination of IPv6 activities and the characteristics of the IPv6 protocol that tend to cause problems for teams.  She also spoke about IPv6 addressing practices and LAN-based considerations of addressing end-nodes.  During the question and answers section of her presentation, discussions about Network Connectivity Status Indicator (NCSI) and about IPv6 support in Microsoft products took place.

The next presentation was titled “IPv6 Best Common Practices of Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) with VMware NSX” presented by Jeremy Duncan of Tachyon Dynamics.  Jeremy covered the requirements to run IPv6 in a VMware NSX environment and the limitations of IPv6 within that system.  Jeremy went through what configuration tasks are performed and also went through a live demonstration of the technology in a dual-protocol environment.

Owen Delong, now with Akamai, gave a quick presentation on his views and experiences of IPv6 promotion over the years.  He covered the different benefits that have been extolled and the way that people have thought about IPv6 over recent years.

Michael Kloberdans from CableLabs gave a presentation titled “IPv6: An Enabler for Virtualizing the Home”.  His presentation was an engaging discussion about trends in data center networking and how those differ from the challenges of home networking.  He covered how home networks are currently architected and how home networks may be designed and deployed for subscribers in the future by using overlay protocols and IPv6.

Geoff Mulligan with the IPSO Alliance has presented at many other IPv6 Summit conferences and this year his presentation was titled “Protocols for the IoT: The Current State of Affairs“.  He covered the wide variety of protocols that are used by the even wider variety of IoT IP-enabled devices.  He covered the nature of smart-object communications and how the protocols are used by these devices.  He then discussed the IPSO Challenge contest.

The final presentation of the conference was “Cyber Threat Intelligence in The Age of loT & Dual Stack Environments” given by Joe Klein with Disrupt6.  Joe presented some basic security concepts and then discussed the historical view of when devices, systems, and software transitioned between IPv6-capable to IPv6-enabled by default.

IPv6 Summit Supporters

This year, Infoblox was once again the event’s title sponsor.  Tom Coffeen, Chief IPv6 Evangelist at Infoblox gave a keynote presentation on successful IPv6 address planning.

The American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) and Global Technology Resources, Inc. (GTRI) have been supporters of this event for all 8 years.  ARIN is the organization that can help you acquire IPv6 addresses and they provide an IPv6 Info Center with great resources.  GTRI offers IPv6 consulting and training services.

This year’s IPv6 Summit was also supported by many other organizations as well.

Additional IPv6 Educational Opportunities

If you missed the IPv6 Summit event, there are many other opportunities to learn about IPv6.  You can still register ($30) for and access the virtual conference platform. This allows you to watch the replays of the presentations, download presentations, and access the documents in the virtual tradeshow.  Also, the content from all the previous years of IPv6 events are posted on the RMv6TF web site.

Infoblox provides many different options for IPv6 learning.  Infoblox has many web-based seminars that are focused on the IPv6 protocol.  Infoblox also has a recent company blog on IPv6 and the Infoblox IPv6 Center of Excellence (COE) regularly publishes many blogs on the IPv6 protocol.

ARIN + NANOG have joined forces to put on a series of events to bring their message out to the broader North American community.  The NANOG On The Road events may be coming to a city near you.  The remainder of 2015, there will be events in Northern Virginia (June 23, 2015), Chicago, IL (September 1, 2015), and St. Louis, MO (November 17, 2015).

Cisco Live is happening in San Diego June 7-11, 2015.  This event offers many IPv6-related technical sessions and IPv6 tutorials that have great content.  If you can’t make it to Cisco Live, then you might be able to obtain some of these training sessions online.

At this year’s Interop Las Vegas, there will be several IPv6 events.  Ed Horley, Principal Solutions Architect, Groupware Technology will be presenting “How to Get Up and Running With IPv6 -- Without Destroying Your IPv4 Network!

The Internet Society offers information on IPv6 through their Deploy 360 Programme.

If you can’t make any of these events, there are still a tremendous amount of IPv6 information available on the Internet.

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