LACNIC Internet Community Newsletter
IPv6 Task Force for Latin America and the Caribbean
By Mariela C. Rocha
The quality and variety of the contributions presented by the community made this a difficult task. The evolution of the contributions’ content is remarkable, and this is mainly because every year that passes the IPv6 protocol becomes more deeply rooted within the Internet community and this makes it possible to share and exchange richer experiences.
In this sense, a clear and objective fact is that during the first editions of FLIP6 the different networks presented their IPv6 topology, most of which were strongly supported under a tunneling system and the main novelty was having native connections.
By contrast, the evaluation committee who had the difficult task of selecting the contributions that would be a part of the agenda for Isla Margarita decided to base their selection on the following parameters: originality, value of an experience to be shared, possibility of general application, replicability, importance for development.
This year the process culminated at the 5th edition of the Forum, where not only did the selected contributions shine before the LACNIC community but also special guests such as Yves Poppes (Teleglobe, Canada) and John Loughney (Nokia, California) shared their experiences and visions regarding the deployment of IPv6.
In addition, we would like to highlight the efforts made by LACNIC’s technical staff so that presentations were not only attended by those present at the face-to-face meeting but there was also the possibility of remote participation either through teleconference or videoconference. The important initiative presented on behalf of LACNIC by Raúl Echeberría, the organization’s executive director, of beginning a massive IPv6 adoption campaign for the entire region with the aim of achieving this goal for January 1st, 2011, deserves a special mention.
The presentation by Yves Poppes brought us statistics, data and anecdotes, the reality of IPv6 around the world and the benefits of its early adoption, those towards whom it is targeted, and what the world of communications is like today. It was very important to see the experience at a global network such as Teleglobe’s.
Closer to home, Roque Gagliano of Antel Uruguay showed us the characteristics of a multi-vendor environment and the problems encountered when implementing IPv6 within such an environment. He spoke of the problems that may arise in the future in terms of traffic engineering in order to be able to balance the loads from different types of customers. He also described how MPLS facilitates the implementation of IPv6 without the need of configuring the network’s core routers and other characteristics that should be taken into consideration at the moment of deciding the incorporation of IPv6 within a provider’s network. This was a presentation of excellent technical quality.
Controversial as usual, Jordi Palet cut to the chase and presented what in his opinion will be the consequences of not being prepared for a change that is considered inevitable. He spoke not only of economic costs but also of organizational costs. He explained how it is almost vital that organizations do not wait until the last possible minute, comparing the situation to the so called “Y2K problem”. Using vivid language highlighted by his Iberian accent he described the problems NAT may present and provided guidelines for a trouble-free transition. He was emphatic in recommending the use of the “dual stack” mechanism, as well as an early planning of the transition.
The presentation prepared by John Loughney of Nokia showed how technologies are converging within the commercial world, as he spoke about IPv6 support in mobile phones of the company he represents, its current status and market demands. An important part of his presentation was a market study conducted by Nokia on the global penetration of mobile Internet and how, for example, in Japan 66% of users utilize some sort of mobile Internet service. He explained the dilemma between NAT IPv4 addresses and frequent keep-alive messages (which consume the batteries of mobile devices) and IPv6 with long lasting connections.
He also brought up for debate the issue of the timeframe foreseen for the depletion of IANA’s central address pool, which he said will be in December 2009 due to the number of new connected “devices”, while the depletion of the addresses at RIRs will occur in August 2010.
Federico Diano’s presentation included a detailed description of MPLS from its planning stages to its implementation at a regional ISP’s network such as Comsat that has active presence in 14 countries. He also included technical explanations on how the implementation was carried out, mapping of IPv6 over MPLS using the 6PE technique.
Alessandro Santiago Dos Santos’ presentation dealt with a tool for performing an equipment IPv6 compatibility test. This tool is a readily available open source software, and his live demonstration at the event presented administrators with a solution to their task.
Finally, LACNIC’s Executive Director Raúl Echeberría announced that his organization will launch a campaign − described in another article of this newsletter − so that IPv6 implementation can be achieved before January 1st, 2011, by all the region’s operators. He explained that for this purpose activities will be organized, material will be prepared, courses will be offered, and negotiations will be carried out at government level in order to promote the adoption of the protocol through public policies.