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News of 2004

This page contains the news items from the year of 2004.
During 2004 SixXS started providing experimental Multicast connectivity and 7 new PoPs joined: Further AICCU was released and received an Awards of Excellence in the Implementation Award Category in the IPv6 Application Contest 2004.

Happy new year

Thursday, January 1st, 2004
SixXS wishes everybody a happy and fruitful 2004.

IPv6 Multicast tests on IPng PoP

Sunday, January 4th, 2004
IPv6 Multicast tests will take place during the coming week on the IPng PoP. These tests will take place to find out if the performance of the ecmh (Easy Cast du Multi Hub) tool is adequate enough for deploying it at a large scale. ecmh sniffs ICMPv6 and makes up a list of multicast targets using that list for relaying inbound multicast data to the tunnels that request it. If successful the SixXS PoPs will be made multicast capable allowing users of theses PoPs to transmit and receive IPv6 multicast data. Connectivity to the m6bone will depend on the PoP but if that would exist it would give it a massive potential userbase. If all goes well this will give a new dimension to the use of the PoPs and will allow things like IPv6 multicast radio and watching NASA TV over multicast. This is a closed test.

NFSi PoP, ptlis01 airs

Monday, January 5th, 2004
Starting the new year we are proud to present a PoP in the south of Europe located in Lisboa, Portugal. The PoP is hosted by NFSi, a hosting, colocation and access provider based in Portugal. The NFSi PoP uses RIPE space and is available for the public, targeting the users in the Portuguese regions. More information can be found on the NFSi PoP page.

IPv6 Multicast tests on IPng PoP - successful

Friday, January 9th, 2004
The multicast tests on the IPng PoP have been concluded successfully. MLDv1 and MLDv2 including Source Specific Multicast routing works and we will now be concentrating on ironing out some performance bottlenecks by optimizing the functions and flow of ecmh which should be released during the coming week.

IPv6 Multicast enabled on IPng and Concepts PoPs

Sunday, January 11th, 2004
We have enabled Multicast IPv6 using the newly released version of the ecmh tool. This means that users on the IPng and Concepts PoPs can send and receive Multicast IPv6 to the other users on these two PoPs. The PoPs are interlinked for multicast traffic thus users can receive and send multicast streams available on both PoPs. Check the Forum to see where you can find Multicast sessions. We have also added a FAQ item explaining Multicast IPv6.This feature should be considered experimental for the time being.

IPv6 Multicast enabled on HEAnet PoP

Monday, January 12th, 2004
In addition to the Concepts and IPng PoPs we have also enabled Multicast on the HEAnet PoP. This PoP is also interlinked to the Concepts PoP so these three can interchange Multicast traffic.

January cleanup

Tuesday, January 13th, 2004
We have held a january cleanup by sending the notice about the new Stipte IPv6 news server to all the users of SixXS. This was a one time mailing, informing you of something which could be useful and allowed us to verify which mailing addresses where still valid. All bouncing email addresses have been processed and the related accounts have been marked as deleted. Connectivity provided to these users have thus also been disabled. If you want to have your connectivity back, update your handle with a valid email address in the appropriate database and notify SixXS of the change, we can then reinstate your account. Note that bouncing email will always cause the automated behavior of the related account to be deleted.

noc.sixxs.net hardware upgrade sponsored by Concepts ICT

Monday, January 26th, 2004
Concepts ICT has donated us a new noc.sixxs.net machine, consisting of a 2.6Ghz Intel Pentium 4 with 512mb of memory coming in a stylish 1U casing. This makes the access to the site faster and allows us to ensure the quality we have been providing and also allows our growth pattern to continue.
We'd like to graciously thank Concepts ICT for sponsoring this new hardware! Concepts ICT also runs the Concepts PoP and colocates the noc.sixxs.net machine in their colocation facility in Breda, The Netherlands providing for free traffic and bandwidth to run the central SixXS site.

RealROOT PoP, bebru01 airs & m6bone linkup

Wednesday, January 28th, 2004
Especially for the Belgium users we now also have a Brussels PoP available. The PoP is hosted by RealROOT, a colocation and dedicated housing provider based in Belgium. The RealROOT PoP uses RIPE space and is available for the public, targeting the users in the Belgium regions.
This PoP has m6bone connectivity and because the Multicast enabled SixXS PoPs are linked for multicast traffic all these PoPs profit from it. This linkup also means that the rich content of the m6bone is available to all users of these PoPs.

ptlis01 back online

Thursday, February 12th, 2004
The Portuguese PoP located in Lisabon is back online and accepting new tunnels and subnets. The existing userbase have been granted free subnets as a bonus.

IPng PoP external connectivity down and restored

Wednesday, February 25th, 2004
Currently the external connectivity of the IPng PoP is down due to a broken router at Intouch. The PoP itself is reachable and works, only external (Intouch to the world) connectivity is affected.

Apparently the downtime checks where not prepared for this situation, credits have been refunded.

Update: Connectivity has been restored.

DNA PoP, fihel01 airs

Monday, March 8th, 2004
We are proud to present the first Scandinavian PoP located in Helsinki, Finland. The PoP is hosted by DNA, who operate a nationwide IP/GSM/GPRS network and SDH/DWDM network supporting those. DNA is also the third largest telecom operator in Finland. The DNA PoP uses RIPE space and is available for the public, targeting the users in Finland. Current Finnish SixXS users will be notified with a special offer to migrate onto this PoP which will be much closer and faster for them. More information can be found on the DNA PoP page.

M"net PoP, demuc02 airs

Wednesday, March 10th, 2004
M"net, a regional telecommunications and network carrier, has opened a PoP for their customers. The M"net PoP uses RIPE space and is available for their customers. More information can be found on the M"net PoP page.

noc.sixxs.net temperature problems

Sunday, March 14th, 2004
Due to a broken fan-cable causing a temperature of 89 degrees in the noc.sixxs.net machine, which hosts the website and the configservice, it automatically shutdown causing these services to be offline. Statistics collection was also interrupted because of this unfortunately. The problem has been resolved and extra monitoring has been added to survey that it is kept available and working.

Incidence Response Team (IRT) objects added to RIPE registry

Monday, March 15th, 2004
SixXS has added IRT objects to the RIPE registry, this way the SixXS Incident Response Team which handles abuse in the networks assigned to users by SixXS can be reported in a standardized method. Authors of abuse reporting tools should use the standard IRT object query method to find the IRT object that is responsible for those prefixes and use that object to contact the IRT in question. The Whois tool has been updated with a option for querying this object directly. More information about the IRT object can be found at the RIPE site

bebru01 dismantled

Sunday, April 4th, 2004
RealROOT has discontinued their SixXS PoP due to legal issues, Michiel van Opstal said. They decided on Friday to discontinue the service immediately, after several days of instability in their IPv6 network. Due to this, 42 tunnels and 21 subnets were orphaned. Marcel ten Berg (administrator of nlams04 / Stipte PoP),has offered to take over the users, while Robert Kießling of Easynet is investigating the feasibility of a server in Brussels.

nlede01 PoP (BIT BV) airs

Tuesday, April 20th, 2004
BIT BV, a Dutch business to business ISP (and Pim's employer), has decided to host a point of presence also. The new server, nlede01.sixxs.net, has aired today. The server uses RIR space and is natively routed from BIT to AMS-IX, NL-IX, DE-CIX and GN-IX. The server runs FreeBSD5 (the first PoP to run this OS, by the way), and uses OpenBSD's pf(8) as firewall software.

nlams02 PoP (IPng) phaseout

Wednesday, April 21st, 2004
Even though the Intouch IPng tunnelbroker has been stable for years on end, and outlives just about each and every other tunnelbroker on Earth, it was decided to clean up this service and replace it with another server. A replacement server (called nlede01.sixxs.net) has been erected at Pim van Pelt's employer BIT BV, a Dutch business oriented ISP based in Ede (Gelderland, The Netherlands). They have agreed to take over every Dutch user on the PoP. Due to local policy at BIT, only Dutch (AMS-IX/NL-IX/GN-IX connected) users are allowed access. For those of you from other regions, Marcel ten Berg's tunnelserver at Stipte (nlams04.sixxs.net) has generously offered to host your tunnel. The IPng PoP will be dismanted per 6/6/2004.

2000 active users and tunnels reached

Thursday, April 22nd, 2004
Today SixXS has reached a total of 2000 active users and tunnels. Note that we emphasize on the active as disabled and deleted users or tunnels are not counted, if we did count those there would be about 3500 users and tunnels, but as they are not in use that is not the truth. Another great statistic is that we serve over 35 countries. If you live in a country doesn't have a PoP yet, don't hesitate to contact your favorite ISP and point them in our direction and we can help them out providing IPv6 to their customers.

New SSL Certificate (23-04-2004 - 24-05-2006)

Friday, April 23rd, 2004
A new SSL certificate has been installed as the previous was about to expire. SHA1 fingerprint: 13:FE:CC:D8:94:60:E9:AF:86:68:52:03:52:69:FC:F8:C7:F7:4F:57
MD5 fingerprint: 1E:C8:D5:38:B0:33:04:A2:42:B6:30:CA:06:29:BA:43
The certificate is issued by FreeSSL. 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. When in doubt contact SixXS and request a PGP signed copy of the above fingerprints. The SSL version of the SixXS website continues to be 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. This certificate is used for both HTTPS and SMTP and various other SSL-based services provided on noc.sixxs.net.

noc.sixxs.net moving to new housing location

Thursday, May 6th, 2004
noc.sixxs.net, the machine hosting the SixXS website and acting as the central server for SixXS, is moving to the brand new housing location of Concepts ICT who are graciously sponsoring SixXS by providing the colocation and the server itself. The move itself should cost a maximum of 10 minutes of downtime during which it will be transported and installed into the new facility. The move will take place at 14:00 CET. More information about the colo can be found on: http://www.hostingtotaal.nl

ip6.arpa for the 6bone is finally coming

Thursday, May 6th, 2004
Hexago is currently in the final stages of setting up ip6.arpa support for the 6bone as can be read in this message. When ip6.arpa servers are working, thus when ICANN has delegated them down the countdown will start for turning off ip6.int support by SixXS. To allow people to reconfigure their setups we have set a deadline of 1 month after which SixXS won't serve nor support any ip6.int based reverse delegations. This should give a good demonstration which software doesn't yet use ip6.arpa, even though this had been made so per RFC3152 over three years ago. The majority of the SixXS users won't notice this as they are in RIR space. The Kewlio PoP, being the only PoP using 6bone soon, with IPng being phased out, is already prepared to serve ip6.arpa thus this should not pose a problem, unless users still are using old software. Generally this will mean that they will have to update their resolvers which will fix it. Also notice the discussion in the forum about this subject.

Easynet Munich PoP moving to Hamburg

Wednesday, May 12th, 2004
The Easynet PoP demuc01 is moving to Hamburg on Wednesday 12th of May 2004 at 14:00. The machine isn't transported physically over the 720km between Münich and Hamburg where a new machine has already been prepared, configured and ready for routing the tunnels. Endusers thus won't notice much of this move and downtime should be minimal. Everything stays the same, except that the PoP will be renamed to deham01.sixxs.net and that tunnel reverses will contain ham-01 instead of the former muc-01 part. Neither the IPv4 or the IPv6 addresses of the PoP will change. Users of this PoP have been informed separately per email. Users with bouncing email addresses have been disabled.
Update: The move has been verified to be completed successfully at 14:15.

Improved traffic monitoring system

Wednesday, May 12th, 2004
To increase the performance of the SixXS system we have implemented an improved, more efficient, traffic monitoring system which will allow the SixXS system to sustain its current growth rates as a number of new PoPs are anticipated. The end-user won't notice a big effect except that the statistics will be more accurate than they already were previously.

50th participant in GRH (AS8298) peering

Wednesday, May 19th, 2004
The Ghost Route Hunter (GRH) AS8298 anomaly gathering system has been active since 8 august 2003. Today we added Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center as the 50th participant. We would like to thank all the participants for donating their view of the IPv6 Internet which enabled us to detect anomalies in the IPv6 Routing Tables and pinpoint them, allowing these anomalies to be reported to the sources and then directly resolved and thus making the IPv6 Internet a better place to route.

nlams04 PoP hardware upgrade

Wednesday, May 19th, 2004
After running more than a year on nlams04.sixxs.net will be replaced by another system. Stipte is again sponsoring the hardware for the new PoP. Coming Friday 21 May at 12:00 CET the new system will be taken into production. The new machine has already been prepared, configured and ready for routing the tunnels. End-users thus won't notice much of this change and downtime will be minimal. Everything stays the same, except for the change of hardware. Update: The upgrade has been verified to be completed successfully at 12:05.

nlams02 PoP (IPng) decommissioned, IPng project ended

Sunday, June 6th, 2004
After 4 years of trustily providing tunnels we have finally decommissioned the IPng PoP and with that ended the IPng project.

ITGate PoP, ittrn01 in Torino, Italy airs

Wednesday, June 16th, 2004
We are proud to present a southern European PoP located in Torino, Italy. The PoP is hosted by ITGate.ITGate is an ISP for the enterprise and wholesale markets, founded in Italy in 1999. ITGate offers hosting and housing services, managed VPN, DSL and dialup access and leased line connectivity. ITGate can provide native or tunneled IPv6 connectivity to customers. The ITGate PoP uses RIPE space and is for users who's ISPs are connected to the MIX (Milano) or TOP-IX (Torino). Current Italian SixXS users will be notified with a special offer to migrate onto this PoP which will be much closer and faster for them. More information can be found on the ITGate PoP page.

1000+ active /48 allocations reached

Friday, June 25th, 2004
After we had reached 2000 active users and tunnels on April 22nd 2004, SixXS has another high: 1000+ /48 allocations! This means that 1000+ end-sites have gotten IPv6 connectivity through SixXS which is approx. 50% of the tunnel endpoints we where able to qualify for a subnet.

Planning the removal of all IP6.INT reverse delegations

Thursday, July 22nd, 2004
We are busy planning the removal of IP6.INT delegations for all reverse zones. A document is being prepared to be sent to the IETF which will outline the exact details, a preview can be found at: draft-massar-v6ops-ip6int-removal which will be published as a Internet Draft soon. Discussions about this document are taking place in the RIPE IPv6 WG, IETF v6ops and APNIC IPv6 SIG.

SURFnet PoP, nlams05 in Amsterdam airs

Friday, July 23rd, 2004
We are proud to present a second National Research and Educational Network to the growing list of SixXS Points of Presences. This new PoP is hosted by SURFnet. SURFnet connects the networks of universities, colleges, research centers, academic hospitals and scientific libraries to one another and to other networks in Europe and the rest of the world. The SURFnet network is currently in its fifth carnation called SURFNet5 or GigaPort which is one of the worlds most advanced networks. This PoP is available to users who are already using SURFnet for academic or research purposes. When signing up please state your affinity with the SURFnet network. More information can be found on the SURFnet PoP page.

IPv6Gate 2.0: See the Dancing Kame over IPv4

Tuesday, July 27th, 2004
The IPv6Gate has been renewed and is now available in its 2.0 incarnation. You never saw the famous Dancing Kame? We now have a solution for that, next to using a tunnel you can use the new feature of IPv6Gate: IPv4Gate which acts as the counterpart for the IPv6Gate. While IPv6Gate allows one to access IPv4 websites from IPv6 capable and connected web-browsers, IPv4Gate allows one to access IPv6 sites from IPv4 websites. As with IPv6Gate this does not require any additional software to be installed and doesn't require one to configure anything. Check the IPv6Gate/IPv4Gate pages for more information.

AICCU Beta1 for Windows Released

Sunday, August 1st, 2004
In an ongoing adventure to make it easier for people to use SixXS we hereby launch the BETA1 of AICCU (Automatic IPv6 Connectivity Configuration Utility). The purpose of BETA1 is to test the generic functionality of AICCU and to see if is is capable of replacing the current Heartbeat tool. Today we launch the Windows GUI version, which can also run as a native windows service. Tomorrow the various packaged and also the source for AICCU will be made available.

Revised credits for dynamic tunnels

Monday, August 2nd, 2004
Dynamic tunnels get 5 credits when they have existed for the first week. After that they will get 5 credits every two weeks when they are alive. This change allows dynamic tunnel users to gain credits too. See FAQ: What about credits for more details.

10 Easy Steps to IPv6

Monday, August 2nd, 2004
Is getting IPv6 connectivity a mystery for you? Does the signup seem to complex? For those people we have now made a 10 Easy Steps to IPv6 FAQ which explains, in short, how to get yourself a SixXS account and how to get it working.

Removal of support for IP6.INT reverse delegations on 9-9-2004

Wednesday, August 4th, 2004
On 9-9-2004 SixXS will remove all reverse delegations under IP6.INT. This is a move to flush out all the software which has not been updated in the last three years when, only known non-updated implementations are Windows XP, which is now fixed in SP2 and various Cisco IOS's. As neither of these are server OS's they mostly only use it for traceroute information and thus this is not a problem. Removing IP6.INT support also conserves a lot of resources (memory, management) which is quite sparse already for SixXS.

The SixXS nameservers will have a wildcard PTR record for the complete ip6.int zone this PTR record will point to the 'update.your.resolver.ip6.int.is.deprecated.served.from.sixxs.net.'. Additionally we will enable logging of queries for the ip6.int zone so we can identify and try to notify the users of these broken resolvers.

Concepts PoP (nlams01) moving to a new datacenter

Tuesday, August 24th, 2004
The Concepts PoP (nlams01) will move to a new datacenter. Connectivity will be interrupted between 2004-08-25 00:30 and 2004-08-25 11:00 while it is being transported to the new location, installed, upgraded and maintenanced.
Update: The PoP has been successfully transported + upgraded and was up and running again at 09:00.

AICCU Beta2 - AYIYA support and UNIX versions

Monday, August 30th, 2004
Beta2 of AICCU has been released. One can during the Beta phase of AICCU request AYIYA tunnels for beta testing by contacting SixXS and explaining how you are going to test the setup, thus serious testers only. Note that the LICENSE under which AICCU has been made public is a derivement from the standard BSD license. The exact LICENSE is still under discussion, comments about this license should also be sent to SixXS. Also see the new AICCU FAQ for common questions.

Changing tunnel types now possible using the web-interface

Thursday, September 2nd, 2004
The most requests to SixXS over the last couple of months has been the changing of static to heartbeat tunnels and vice versa. With the upcoming AYIYA tunnels, currently in beta and only requestable by email, these requests are expected to become more common. To make sure that we can handle this we implemented this functionality into the web-interface, thus if you currently, or in the future, have a static or heartbeat or AYIYA tunnel one can easily switch types using that interface. We have also reduced the cost for this operation to 15 credits.

Reminder: Removal of support for IP6.INT reverse delegations on 9-9-2004

Monday, September 6th, 2004
On 9-9-2004 SixXS will remove all reverse delegations under IP6.INT. The SixXS nameservers will have a wildcard PTR record for the complete ip6.int zone this PTR record will point to 'update.your.resolver.ip6.int.is.deprecated.served.from.sixxs.net'. Additionally we will enable logging of queries for the ip6.int zone so we can identify and try to notify the users of these broken resolvers.

IP6.INT delegations removed

Thursday, September 9th, 2004
As announced previously, SixXS has discontinued the support for IP6.INT delegations. If one would still query one of the three SixXS nameservers (ns1/2/3.sixxs.net) they will get a PTR record pointing to: update.your.resolver.ip6.int.is.deprecated.served.from.sixxs.net.

Beta2a of AICCU released

Thursday, September 9th, 2004
Beta2a of AICCU has been released. This new release contains improvements for compiling AICCU and should now cleanly work for FreeBSD, for which a port is coming up. Thanks must go to the various people submitting patches. Additionally we can report that AYIYA testing is going fine and looks very stable.

Beta2b of AICCU released

Friday, September 17th, 2004
Beta2b of AICCU has been released. This release adds some minor packaging fixes and support for OpenBSD and Gentoo. Additionally the Downloads have now been moved to the SixXS Archive this as we are confident that the client is quite stable and ready for use. The former Heartbeat client has been deprecated. but can still be downloaded from the SixXS Archive, we do suggest to start using AICCU already.

GRH Prefix Comparison utility

Saturday, September 18th, 2004
Always wonder what was wrong with a prefix? Wondering which ISPs are not able to reach you and where it stops? GRH now has a new utility for doing prefix comparisons .This feature was requested by Daniel Rösen for the purpose of comparing: 2001:5000::/21 with 2001:650::/32. Which are originated from the same ASN, but as the /21 is filtered at some places, have different or no paths to the participants that provide routes to GRH. This utility thus allows you to see which participants of GRH do have the routes in question and the difference in the paths towards those participants. This allows a very quick view where a prefix is not accepted, most possibly of misconfigured filters.

Re-assignment of deallocated subnets

Tuesday, September 21st, 2004
Due to the demand and to conserve some IP space we are from now on automatically re-assigning subnets from disabled users and who quite apparently did not use the subnet. Re-allocation happens after at least 3 months of idleness. This preserves some space and thus completely fills the prefixes in use by the various PoPs. SixXS already has been assigned 14 /40's (3584 /48's) towards the PoPs, from which 1300+ active subnets (/48) and 2700+ active tunnels (/64) have been allocated to end users. The German Easynet PoP atm has 479 active subnets, meaning that it will fill up its second /40 quite soon already.

Maintenance on HEAnet PoP

Monday, October 4th, 2004
HEAnet will be performing maintenance at its PoP in Brooklawn House, Dublin on Wednesday 6 October from 08:00 to 09:00 UTC+1. This will affect IPv6 connectivity to the SixXS PoP.

MLDv2 support on the Multicast enabled PoPs

Tuesday, October 5th, 2004
With the release of a new version of ecmh all the PoPs supporting Multicast have now automatically been upgraded to support MLDv2 too. This allows the users of these PoPs to experience the powers of SSM. Later this week we will also add support for Multicast to the remaining PoPs so that at least all the SixXS PoPs support Multicast IPv6 and are interconnected.

SixXS's 2nd anniversary

Saturday, October 23rd, 2004
It is already two years ago that SixXS opened its door to the public. Since last year SixXS has grown to provide IPv6 connectivity to almost over 3000 users, ten times as many as last year. One out of two users has a /48 subnet routed to their endpoint. Over the last year new user signups and tunnel requests have increased a lot even though we still maintain our, according to some too, strict policies. SixXS's total IPv6 Traffic has grown from around 2mbit/s to 20mbit/s which corresponds to the 10x users increase The third life year of SixXS will at least bring fully supported AYIYA tunneling on all PoPs making it possible for everyone to use IPv6, almost, everywhere you might be and have IPv4 connectivity but no IPv6.
During the coming week various PoPs will also get a Multicast uplink to the m6bone, some technical details still have to be finalized for this.

This all would have never been possible to the ISPs providing the PoPs, thus many thanks to them. Probably needless to say, happy birthday and happy IPv6'ing.

Easynet PoP starts using its 3rd IPv6 /40

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2004
Easynet has allocated 2001:6f8:1300::/40 to PoP deham01, which at the moment already provides IPv6 connectivity to over 800 active users and has 500 active subnets routed to the end-users. With this 3rd /40, the PoP can now provide 768 /48's to the end-users. This demonstrates that there is a need for IPv6 by end-users and thanks to amongst others Easynet and the other ISPs participating in SixXS end-users are also able to get connected and using IPv6 today.

Amis PoP, simbx01 in Maribor, Slovenia airs

Wednesday, December 15th, 2004
We are proud to present the first PoP in Slovenia. This new PoP is hosted by Medinet. Medinet is a leading internet and voice service provider in Slovenia. Services are offered under the brand name Amis. Amis provides a full range of internet services including all kinds of connectivity options (dialup, cable, ADSL, wireless, fiber). Service is provided to residential customers, for business customers both retail and wholesale service is offered. Experimental native IPv6 connectivity is currently available to business customers on ADSL or fibre connections. This PoP is available to users who are from Slovenia. More information can be found on the Amis PoP page.

Hardware failure on Easynet PoP deham01

Tuesday, December 28th, 2004
Due to a hardware failure the Easynet pop in Germany went down on Sunday 26-12-2004. Easynet has sponsored new hardware making sure that the connectivity can continue without any further problems. We like to express our thanks to Easynet for replacing the hardware so quickly, especially during the Christmas holidays.
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