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News of 2003

This page contains the news items from the year of 2003.
2003 was the year where SixXS showed the light to IPv6Gate and the SixXS Forums. GRH was extended with a Looking Glass, got bogon detection support and became a route viewer and the Concepts PoP migrated from 6bone space to RIPE space. The following PoPs joined SixXS this year:
  • Easynet (Germany)
  • Kewlio (United Kingdom)
  • Data Telecom (Estonia)
SixXS turned one and we introduced the Heartbeat clients and the configuration service as a present.

Happy new year

Wednesday, January 1st, 2003
SixXS wishes everybody a happy and fruitful 2003.

User tunnel downtime notification messages

Friday, January 10th, 2003
Starting today we have added functionality to the robot to notify users per email when their tunnels didn't reply to ICMPv6 ping request packets for the last 24 hours. Tunnel which where not alive for the last 7 days will be automatically notified per email and disabled to avoid sending tunneled packets to unaware end-users. As this warning is now in place and users get notified of the problems we have also increased the 'downtime' cost to 5 credits.

Cybercomm PoP, nlams04 airs

Sunday, January 19th, 2003
SixXS activated a new PoP in the Netherlands at Cybercomm.
Cybercomm B.V. an internet service provider in the Netherlands which provides colocation, dsl, dialup and shared hosting for the consumer and business market. We also provide Virtual internet service providers with connectivity. Cybercomm will provide the end-user and business user with native or tunneled IPv6 connectivity. The PoP is called nlams04 and is located in Amsterdam. More information can be found on the Stipte PoP page.
(Note: Cybercomm has changed name to Scarlet and currently is Stipte)

IPv6Gate opened

Tuesday, January 28th, 2003
The IPv6Gate portal gives IPv6 capable http-clients access to IPv4-only websites. With a few gateway-side tricks all the external hosts on the websites get the .sixxs.org added to their hostname thus further queries will end up going through the gateway allowing almost any http traffic to be routed over IPv6. The IPv6Gate was featured on Slashdot (IPv6 version).

Forum opened

Monday, March 3rd, 2003
SixXS is proud to announce a the opening of the forum. Users can freely sign up and use it to communicate about general questions, setup questions, problems/announcements of new applications etc.

GRH Distributed Looking Glass

Friday, March 7th, 2003
As the Ghost Route Hunter tool is already collecting BGP data we've added a Looking Glass allowing a direct view into all the participating AS's at one glance. This has the advantages of easy comparison and thus troubleshooting. The output of the different project participants is all the same even though they are currently using Juniper's, Cisco's and Zebra routers. New participants can signup for the GRH project, of course the ultimate goal is a stable internet and having many views helps a lot.

New SSL Certificate

Saturday, May 3rd, 2003
A new SSL certificate has been installed as the previous one expired. The thumbprint is E8A1 4180 F75A 9C38 A01D D25D EAD9 6A19 204D 2B7C and it is issued by FreeSSL, even though there is Free in the name it isn't. The Certificate Chain works for at least IE5+ and Mozilla 5+ if you have another browser you should first check to see if the above fingerprint matches and even better use one of the above browser to check if the certificate is correct and after that accept it. The SSL version of the SixXS is now reachable using https://noc.sixxs.net, which is the place where the various logon links will take you too as the CN for the certificate is noc.sixxs.net. The Certificate is used for both HTTPS and SMTP.

IPv6 Time Services

Monday, May 5th, 2003
Due to the availability of an IPv6 capable version of the NTP daemon we have upgraded several PoPs to supply a IPv6 capable Network Time Server (NTP). Currently noc.sixxs.net, nlams01.sixxs.net (Concepts) and nlams02.sixxs.net (IPng) are running these services.

Forum Update

Thursday, May 8th, 2003
The SixXS Forum now has some extra functionality as per request of some of the users. Threads are now correctly sorted in the index and it now also supports a search function . Further enhancements in the search function will follow.

Concepts 6bone to RIPE prefix transition

Friday, May 16th, 2003
Concepts ICT are transitioning their IPv6 prefix from their 6bone (3ffe:4007::/32) to their RIPE (2001:838::/32) prefix. As noc.sixxs.net, which amongst others serves this webpage, is hosted there it is also changing IPv6 IP. This has been reflected in DNS already. Next to the noc change the Concepts PoP, also known as nlams01 will also make the transition. Users using this PoP will be notified per email of this change and what they are supposed to do before the 1st of June 2003. Until that date the 6bone prefix and the new RIPE prefix will be usable alongside each other. The 1st of June 2003 will end this as the transition will then be complete. The only problem that should arise is the fact that DNS forwards point to the new addresses and thus they won't match with the old reverses. This is unavoidable unless we change the hostnames. At least until 1st June 2003 the PoP has been closed for new tunnel requests and ping tests won't be taken.

Cybercomm changes name to Scarlet

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2003
Cybercomm B.V. has changed name to Scarlet Internet B.V. except for the change of name nothing will change for the user-base of this PoP.

Megabit 2003

Monday, July 21st, 2003 till Sunday, July 27th
From Monday 21st of July till Sunday 27st July in Ede, The Netherlands, the yearly Megabit Open Air Festival will take place. An outdoor Internet fest where hackers, whiz kids and other internet professionals from Europa can go to stay up to date in the latest developments in the areas of internet, hardware, networking and gaming. State-of-the-art technical arrangements will make sure everything is top notch. The city of Ede provides Megabit 2003 with 15.000 m2 space alongside the Dutch A12. On this terrain tents of 15x25m and 15x10m will be setup. The terrain will be supported with a 250kVA diesel aggregate for power. A DarkFiber with WDM equipment will provide 4x 1000Mbps connectivity to the AMS-IX. Of course this network will both carry IPv6 as IPv4 traffic. Megabit will be offering a widespread range of lectures, hands-on courses, political sessions and other presentations.

IPv6 Bogon Reporting

Friday, August 1st, 2003
The Ghost Route Hunter Distributed Looking Glass now also colors the prefixes based on types of bogons that they are. Any oddity detected in the IPv6 routing tables residing in the GRH system is reported. The GRH pages also explain what bogons are. Notifications to the administrators causing and/or affected by these bogons will be sent out as soon as possible.

nlams04 moving locations on August 19th

Wednesday, August 13th, 2003
Tuesday August 19th 2003 the SixXS Stipte PoP (nlams04) will be down for about 15 minutes. In that time it will move to Stipte's new PoP location in Amsterdam. The PoP will continue operation after the move. The configuration of the pop will not change, thus users will only experience a minor downtime.
[Update] The PoP was successfully moved to the new location.

IPv6 Routing Table Anomalies @ RIPE46

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2003
Jeroen gave a presentation about the improvements of the The Ghost Route Hunter (GRH) project at RIPE 46's IPv6 Working Group, explaining the different types of anomalies it currently detects. The archives of RIPE also contain the recorded session video+audio. Check the presentations section for the slides and the webcast URL.

Signups made easier

Friday, September 12th, 2003
Signups into the SixXS system have been made easier due to the inclusion of a 6bone handle generator which allows easy creation of the 6bone handle, you will still have to enter full valid detailss like before.

Dynamic IPv4 Tunneling Support Public Beta

Tuesday, September 16th, 2003
SixXS is proud to present a limited Dynamic IPv4 Tunneling Support Public Beta program. First come first serve. This will allow for users having Dynamic non-24/7 IPv4 addresses to make use of the SixXS PoPs, More information is available in the forum thread. Update: This beta has been concluded and the service has gone gold.

Forums RSS enabled

Tuesday, October 14th, 2003
After some time of testing we have now officially enabled the forums to support RSS feeds. More information can be found in the RSS section of the forums.

Dynamic IPv4 Tunneling Support goes Gold

Wednesday, October 15th, 2003
After a month of beta testing and ironing out some flaws we have activated the Dynamic IPv4 support as an extra option. SixXS now allows one to request a static or a dynamic tunnel. Dynamic tunnels require the Heartbeat client which signals the PoP every minute with its current IPv4 address, allowing on the fly tunnel moves in case of DHCP renewals and other events. When the PoP hasn't received a heartbeat for 2 minutes the tunnel will be deconfigured making sure that no packets will be sent to an unsuspecting endpoint avoiding former problems. The heartbeat client is currently available for most UNIX platforms, a Windows version will follow later this week which will also support the new configuration interface.

SixXS open for one year

Thursday, October 23rd, 2003
Last year SixXS opened its door to the public at the AMS-IX IPv6 Awareness Day. The system has been running very stable, with some minor but solvable problems. Traffic has risen to an acceptable average of over 2mbit/s continuously which really isn't much, but it does show that we are progressing in the right direction. The added benefit of the recently introduced dynamic tunnels will also allow more users to use this service. We hope everybody is enjoying and learning from this very stable service with users from 40 countries!

Windows Heartbeat Client

Sunday, October 26th, 2003
The testing is complete and we are proud to present a native Windows Heartbeat Client. Full information, including screenshots can be found on the Heartbeat Client Information page. The Windows client includes support for the SixXS Configuration Service thus users don't have to type in anymore configuration as they are taken from the server. Notez bien that there has not been a large field test so there could still be anomalies in the program, if there is something odd, report it.

Website updates

Wednesday, October 29th, 2003
We have been adding user-friendly icons around the website for making it easier to navigate the website and making it more accessible. The FAQ section is also updated to include new FAQ items and a better organization.

Maintenance for adding tinc support

Sunday, November 9th, 2003
Today there will be some interruptions in the syncing process of the PoPs. This won't affect connectivity, but could affect the time taken for enabling/disabling tunnels and routes. The reason for this is that the backend software is getting updated to start the internal beta for tinc supporting tunnels, next to the normal protocol 41 tunnels. This will allow people to use the service even when they are behind firewalls. tinc also supports a wide variety of encryption mechanisms thus the tunnels will be encrypted too, thus no more sniffing your connections. More information about this setup will follow, check the tinc site for more information about tinc.

tinc support on PoP side ready

Monday, November 10th, 2003
The support for tinc tunnels has been completed on the PoPs. As can be seen on the PoP status page, tinc is supported on some of the PoPs already. It is not possible to request or convert tunnels to the tinc protocol yet though. The client will be updated next, further updates will follow.

125 Heartbeat tunnels in less than a month

Wednesday, November 12th, 2003
Since the Heartbeat service went gold already 125 new Heartbeat tunnels have been taken into use by almost the same amount of new users. Check the SixXS Growth Statistics for more interesting data.

SixXS Configuration Service is assigned port 3874

Friday, November 21st, 2003
IANA has allocated port 3874 for the SixXS Configuration Service. New clients will be issued which will start using this port number, the former 42006 port will remain working until the end of the year, per January 2004 it will return an error telling people to upgrade. Notifications of this will be sent to the users who are currently using the configuration service.

New Easynet PoP to replace PSINet PoP

Saturday, November 22nd, 2003
PSINet decided to end the IPv6 services they currently have in their network which was taken over from Cybernet last year. This also means the end of the demun01 PoP. We have found Easynet ready to start a new PoP also in Muenchen. This new PoP will take over the work from the PSINet PoP. Note well, as it is a different ISP, you will have to renumber and will get a different IPv4 endpoint for this PoP. Further reconfiguration information and the assignments of the new prefixes to your tunnels and subnets will follow shortly. Requesting new tunnels to the old and the new PoP is currently disabled because of this state.

Easynet PoP, demuc01 airs

Monday, November 24th, 2003
The Easynet PoP has been installed and configured and is now accepting new tunnel requests. If you currently have a tunnel to the PSINet (demun01) PoP you will receive a new tunnel later today costing no credits. You are urged to start using the new tunnel as soon as possible. The demun01 PoP will be decommissioned at the end of this week. Notez bien, the Easynet PoP is named demuc01 which conforms to the UN/LOCODE.
Update: tunnels and subnets have been created and emailed to the users on demun01, refunds are complete.

PSINet PoP, demun01 closes

Friday, November 28th, 2003
After having provided a good service for more than a year and having transferred the active tunnels to the new Easynet PoP, we are shutting down the PSINet PoP (demun01). We thank PSINet and not to forget the former Cybernet for the service they offered by providing this PoP.

Prefixes registered in RIPE registry

Friday, December 5th, 2003
Both tunnel and subnet prefixes will from now on be synced into the RIPE registry if the PoP is in RIPE space. This will give RIPE a better count of how many prefixes are assigned and will also show that IPv6 is really taking off. Next to that the documentation of the subnets provisioned by SixXS becomes much clearer and public even though more information can be obtained from our local whois server available at whois.sixxs.net.

HEAnet PoP also available for the public

Tuesday, December 9th, 2003
The HEAnet PoP, based in Dublin, Ireland is now also publicly available for users in the Irish/Scottish region and might also be doable, latency wise, for US/Canadian users.

Kewlio PoP, gbmnc01 airs

Wednesday, December 10th, 2003
Today yet another PoP has joined SixXS. This PoP is located in Manchester, United Kingdom and is hosted by Kewlio.net Limited, a hosting and colocation provider based in Manchester and London. The Kewlio PoP uses 6bone space and is available for the public, targeting the users in the UK region and overseas. More information can be found on the Kewlio PoP page.

Data Telecom PoP, eetll01 airs

Tuesday, December 16th, 2003
Data Telecom from Estonia are also providing a PoP starting today. The PoP is located in Tallinn, Estonia. Data Telecom's is a business grade internet service provider. The Data PoP uses RIPE IPv6 space and is private but available for the customers of data.ee and providers in the region of Estionia. More information can be found on the Data PoP page.

Forum Notification List

Thursday, December 18th, 2003
We have setup a forum notification list which mirrors the messages posted in the Forum, thus allowing one to be directly notified when a new message appears. See the Mailman Interface for a convenient way of subscribing. Setting your subscription to digest, which is delivered on a daily basis, is also a possibility. The messages contain the complete message that gets posted thus one doesn't even have to read the forum on the website to keep up with it but replies still have to be made through the forum interface. Update 2010-03-01: This method of notification has been removed.

gbmnc01 moves to London and becomes gblon01

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2003
The Manchester based PoP has physically been moved to London and thus it also has been renamed to reflect that state. The old name was gbmnc01, the new name is gblon01.
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