Friday, 25 March 2011

IPv6 Status Survey -

IPv6 Status Survey

During a recent Joint Techs meeting at Fermilab Ron Broersma of Defense Research and Engineering Network (DREN) included a scorecard in his presentation that tried to quantify how well major organisations were embracing IPv6. I thought that this was such a fine idea that I’ve decided to replicate it here. 

While some ISPs might argue that their networks support IPv6 (and that they use it every day) because they have an IPv6 prefix that is announced to the world I tend to believe in “eating ones own dog food” and so it’s more important to be seen to be using it in some meaningful way rather than potentially have a single host generate a suitable BGP announcement. Therefore like Ron I have identified some services and use them as an indicator of usage.

  1. 1. Web server accessible via IPv6;

  2. 2. Email deliverable via IPv6;

  3. 3. DNS name servers accessible via IPv6;

  4. 4. An NTP service accessible via IPv6; and

  5. 5. A Jabber service accessible via IPv6

Partial points are awarded if you have an accessible “www.ipv6.$domain” site. I also now look for “ipv6.$domain” and a variety of other alternatives that might show that an organisation is trying although I think a “normal” user wouldn’t attempt to use them.

Similarly partial points are also awarded if a secondary MX supports IPv6 but the primary does not. In reality an IPv6 only host can communicate with the domain if the secondary is accessible via IPv6 and the secondary can then use some other method to reach the primary to deliver the email. Partial in this case is just used to indicate this difference.

Partial points are also awarded if some but not all DNS name servers have IPv6 addresses. I attempt to check if it is the organisation who has the IPv6 accessible DNS servers or if it’s just a secondary (this falls down if the organisation uses a different domain for it’s services). The numbers in the cell are the organisation’s DNS servers with IPv6 access, total IPv6 accessible DNS servers and finally total number of DNS servers.

For a Jabber service (xmpp-client), this is tested by looking for an appropriate SRV DNS resource record. If there isn’t a record then the cell will be gray (status unknown). If there is only IPv4 addresses listed then the cell is red (fail). If it’s inaccessible, possibly caused by a firewall, that results in an orange (partial) cell and finally if the service is accessible via IPv6 then success is claimed and the cell is green. 

For a NTP service I look for a AAAA record on “ntp.$domain” and if it exists I attempt to perform a “ntpdate” to it. If the stratum looks OK then you get a green cell.

A gray cell indicates some, unspecified, problem with the data collection.

The list should update weekly and suggestions for additions are welcome.

There is also a CGI script to test a domain that is not already in the list at