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News of 2006

This page contains the news items from the year of 2006.

Happy new year

Sunday, January 1st, 2006
SixXS wishes everybody a happy and fruitful 2006.

PoP replacements and pre-gold AYIYA support (SixXS v3a PoP code)

Monday, January 9th, 2006
With recently two PoPs having dying hardware and getting replaced with new and faster hardware we have decided to setup the new v3a PoP code on one of these PoPs (nlams01).
We'll run this test for a week, if the test is successful then we will deploy this new code on more PoPs. This means that all those PoPs will get full AYIYA capabilities. As usual, in case of issues, don't hesitate to contact us.

BitlBee Gateway update

Monday, January 9th, 2006
With the renewal of the installation of nlams01 we've also taken opportunity to refresh the installation of the BitlBee IM Gateway.The IM gateway now also has a web-based front-end available at http://im.sixxs.net of course available for the public.

SixXS v3 PoP code testing update

Saturday, January 14th, 2006
Apart from one minor issue which we have located and fixed now, the testing of the new v3a PoP code is going successfully. We will start deploying this code on further nodes throughout the coming week to make AYIYA available on more PoPs.

noc.sixxs.net hardware upgrade

Thursday, January 19th, 2006
For increasing capacity on the main server, Concepts will install an additional disk in the central machine (noc.sixxs.net). This will affect the web-service, GRH and the statistics for a moment. After this change several tasks will run much smoother due to the larger throughput the extra disk will deliver where currently there is sometimes a disk I/O bottleneck.
Update: New disk installed, data moved, systems are all back up completely.

New hardware for nlams04

Sunday, February 19th, 2006
The Scarlet PoP (nlams04) has been replaced by new hardware; this should resolve the latency issues that the PoP was having. Preparations for setting up the new machine where already going on when the old machine died, this caused a short outage. Users who where affected by this outage, credit-wise, will have these credits refunded.

AYIYA available on M"Net PoP (demuc02)

Sunday, February 19th, 2006
In our goal to move all the PoPs to the new v3 code the M"Net PoP is now also running v3 code. This uncovered a few problems which have been corrected. Customers of M"Net can now also request AYIYA tunnels. Other PoPs are being lined up for upgrades.

AICCU status update

Monday, February 20th, 2006
We are currently slowly upgrading various PoPs to the v3a code base. This makes the PoPs capable of doing AYIYA. On the client side, AICCU will need a few more modifications before we can release an update. AICCU is currently still using the old beta port for AYIYA traffic, though the PoPs do already support AYIYA over the IANA assigned port. An update of AICCU will be prepared soon, hopefully in the coming two weeks which will take into account a large number of already queued updates, many of which contributed by various SixXS users.

AYIYA available on several PoPs

Monday, February 20th, 2006
The following PoPs have been upgraded to the SixXS v3a PoP code: This also ends the Large Italian AYIYA Beta Test run on the Italian PoP. All existing beta AYIYA tunnels are now in production. Thanks to the many participants during this trial period. The code is still in fine tuning, thus there might still be issues around, if there is a problem of course don't hesitate to contact us. If we don't know of a problem we can't fix it either.

SixXS does U.S.A. part IV: OCCAID Ashburn, Virginia PoP launched

Wednesday, March 1st, 2006
The Fourth US based PoP has been opened in OCCAID Ashburn, Virginia (usqas01). It is located at Hotnic. Details about this PoP can be found on the usqas01 PoP page.

Opening week special: Requests for tunnels, one per handle, coming in before 8th of March 2006 00:00 (GMT) will be donated bonus credits making one able to directly request a subnet.

SixXS v3a PoP updates

Thursday, March 2nd, 2006
Through the course of the last week a number of bugs have been reported, found and fixed. We have come to a point where we believe that the currently deployed PoPs running v3a should be completely stable again. In case there is a problem with your tunnel or connectivity, like always, don't hesitate to contact us.

Thanks to the people who reported problems so that we could track these problems down.

RIR Message: Deprecation of ip6.int Scheduled for June 1, 2006

Thursday, March 2nd, 2006
Following is a notification from the RIR's (AFRINIC, APNIC, ARIN, LACNIC and RIPE):
Subject: [arin-announce] Deprecation of ip6.int Scheduled for June 1, 2006
Date: Thu, 02 Mar 2006 09:19:56 -0500
From: Member Services <memsvcs@arin.net>
To: arin-announce@arin.net

In August 2005, RFC 4159 Deprecation of ip6.int was published as Best
Current Practice. This RFC noted that maintenance of ip6.int is no
longer required and that the Regional Internet Registries adopt a
schedule for cessation of ip6.int. All the RIRs have agreed to deprecate
ip6.int on June 1, 2006. Further note that ARIN no longer modifies any
of the zones it administers under ip6.int effective December 7, 2005.

Ginny Listman
Director of Engineering
American Registry for Internet Numbers
None of the SixXS PoPs have ip6.int delegations, thus this should not cause any issues.

noc.sixxs.net disk issues

Tuesday, March 21st, 2006
The central machine (noc.sixxs.net) had some disk issues which where causing the database backend and some other services to fail. Services should all be back up and nominal. For the long term we will be looking into distributing the noc.sixxs.net server to be able to avoid these problems in the future.

usqas01 PoP running SixXS v3a PoP Code

Monday, March 27th, 2006
As a first field-trial for the specific platform of usqas01 we have deployed the v3a code also on this PoP making it AYIYA enabled. This PoP will run this code for trial purposes, to see if it is truly stable in a live environment for the coming week. When it is found that the code is stable enough it will also be deployed on the remaining PoPs.

All US PoPs now running SixXS v3a PoP Code

Sunday, April 2nd, 2006
Finalizing the short but successful field-trial we have deployed the v3a code also on the other 3 OCCAID PoPs, thus making all the US PoPs AYIYA capable:
  • usatl01 - Atlanta, Georgia
  • uschi01 - Chicago, Illinois
  • usewr01 - Ashburn, Virginia
The remaining PoPs (bebru02,eetll01,gblon01,ptlis01 and nlams05) will be upgraded over the coming weeks.

New GRH Tool: Routes per Peer

Tuesday, April 4th, 2006
We have added a new tool to Ghost Route Hunter (GRH). This tool shows the amount of routes per peer of the various peers that participate in the GRH project. One can derive the more important and stable players in the IPv6 routing tables from these graphs along as determine where their routes are coming from. The idea for this tool came from Marco d'Itri's 'Routes per Peer' Statistics upon which this tool has been based.

The tool: GRH - Routes Per Peer

New SSL Certificate installed

Friday, April 7th, 2006
As the old SSL Certificate was almost 2 years old and about to expire, we have ordered a new SSL certificate from RapidSSL, the same company who have been supplying the certificate for the last 4 years. Now their manual security audit has completed we have installed this new SSL certificate. The HTTPS/SSL version of the SixXS website can be reached using https://noc.sixxs.net, when in use your browser should indicate this and the login page shows a small Lock image, the bottom of the SixXS website also indicates this. Using SSL protects communication between your computer and the SixXS server thereby avoiding any peaking on what you are doing by third parties. This SSL certificate is also used for communications over SMTP where possible.

FAQ: Shedding light on IPv6 Transition Mechanisms / Tunnels

Sunday, April 9th, 2006
To shed some light on the possible IPv6 Transition Mechanisms, where tunneling is a big part, we have added a new FAQ in the Connectivity section. FAQ: IPv6 Transition Mechanism / Tunneling Comparison contains a table of the various tunneling methods that are in use around the world. It lists the features and also if they are supported by SixXS.

6BONE shutdown per 6-6-2006

Saturday, May 6th, 2006
As per RFC3071, 6bone, the IPv6 Test Network, will cease to exist on 6-6-2006. At that timepoint all address space is returned to IANA and thus it is illegal to use it. To make sure that the various SixXS PoPs don't have a problem with this, the 6bone address space (3ffe::/16) will be null-routed per 6-6-2006. This thus means that when trying to contact any server in the then former 6bone network the PoP will directly return a "ICMP Network Unreachable". Any hosts which still have a 6bone address in DNS will thus become unreachable, but due to the direct "ICMP Network Unreachable" the application can easily fail over to either another IPv6 address or the IPv4 address if that host specifies multiple addresses.

ptlis01 return, relocation and upgrade

Wednesday, May 31st, 2006
After a harddisk crash and some time offline, the NFSI PoP in Lissabon returns. The PoP has changed location, due to this it also change its IPv4 endpoint address. From now on it can be found at 82.102.0.131, this will also be reflected in DNS Existing users have been notified of this unfortunate downtime and change. The new setup is running the v3a PoP code and thus is AYIYA capable.

gblon01 hardware and software upgrade

Monday, June 5th, 2006
Kewlio have upgraded their PoP gblon01 today by installing a new PoP on new and much better hardware and after testing the new setup, disabling the new PoP and letting the new PoP take its role. The new PoP has now taken over operation and is running stable as expected. The PoP is now AYIYA capable as it is running the new v3a PoP code. Of course if you do have an issue, don't hesitate to contact us so that the problem can be remedied.

6BONE space becomes 6GONE space

Tuesday, June 6th, 2006
Per RFC 3701, '6bone (IPv6 Testing Address Allocation) Phaseout', 3ffe::/16 prefixes only remain valid until June 6, 2006. SixXS has therefore turned off routing to these destinations. Where appropriate, we have collaborated with our participating ISPs to enable BGP filtering for all 3ffe::/16 routes. For all 20+ PoPs, we have disabled forwarding to 6BONE space by adding a null-route for 3ffe::/16 and having them send ICMP unreachables for SixXS users trying to reach those destinations. If you have trouble reaching 6BONE sites, please contact the 6BONE operators in question requesting them to renumber into production space as per RFC 3701.

All 6bone prefixes in GRH that where not returned in a timely fashion have been marked as reclaimed.

NOTE: Even though 6Bone is closed now SixXS keeps on running!.

New Ticket Tracker for reporting problems

Wednesday, July 12th, 2006
To make it easier for users to report problems with PoPs and other issues, we have added a Ticket Tracker to the website which allows users to report these issues in a simple way. Problems can then be discussed and resolved using that method. The old Issue Tracker items have been merged into this new system and the old tracker has been disabled. From now on problems with PoPs can be reported using email or the Ticket Tracker directly. Of course we do expect people to be specific about their problem.

PoPs upgraded

Sunday, July 23rd, 2006
We have upgraded all the PoPs to the newest PoP code to resolve a number of issues that have been discovered over the last couple of months. Of course if you find further issues, don't hesitate to report them. One of the main problems solved is AYIYA functionality on the US PoPs. Which should now work flawlessly in all cases.

AICCU 2006.07.23 - WinXP AYIYA support, new UI

Sunday, July 23rd, 2006
After 1,5 years we proudly present a new version of AICCU which had a lot of changes, bugfixes, and updates. A lot of thanks should go out to the people who reported problems and supplied patches, features and bugfixes. The Debian Apt Repository has changed and now contains i386 and amd64 packages. The changelog contains the details. Distributions carrying packaged versions of AICCU should come up to date soon with this new version. This new version is especially useful for folks using Windows XP SP2 as this new version supports the newer Win TAP 8.1 driver which is the only version that works under XP SP2 and which is required for using AYIYA. Also take a look at the screenshots of the new Windows version. Of course if there are problems, don't hesitate to report them.

AICCU 2006.07.25

Tuesday, July 25th, 2006

As reported by a number of users, AYIYA support on DragonFlyBSD was non-functional. With the new development and test environment we have setup these kind of problems are easier to reproduce, a such already version 2006.07.25 of AICCU version which solely fixes AYIYA support on DragonFlyBSD. New Debian packages have also been generated and the source tarball has been updated. A new Windows release is not required as the changes don't affect it.

noc.sixxs.net hardware upgrade sponsored by Concepts ICT

Thursday, July 27th, 2006

With hardware resources getting tighter and tighter on noc.sixxs.net, we have again received an upgrade for noc.sixxs.net from the provider and colocation provider of this machine Concepts ICT. Now it is running with a new 80Gb disk and has been upgraded to a gigabyte of memory. This should allow for some further future growth. During the upgrade window all services running on noc.sixxs.net where stopped.

We'd like to graciously thank Concepts ICT for sponsoring this new hardware!

Windows Vista support: non-existant due to missing proto-41 support

Friday, July 28th, 2006

[This problem has been been resolved, see this news item]

Since the start of the Windows Vista public beta 2 program we have been receiving enquiries from people about the status of Windows Vista support. After searching for quite some time and then contacting Microsoft, it became clear that after the re-implementation of the complete IPv4 and IPv6 stack into one new mixed stack a lot of features have been added, but one peculiar feature has become absent: IPv6 in IPv4 tunnels (proto-41). ISATAP, Teredo and 6to4 are all available, but configured tunnels are not. As such, when one runs Windows Vista host one will not be able to use SixXS, or for that matter any of the other Tunnel Brokers. We have enquired Microsoft about this and their response is that they know about the problem. The 'bug' will be fixed in SP1, which might be out quite quickly after the release of Vista, but if they are doing it correctly it will take quite some time to have it resolved. Users who thus will be using Vista will not be able to make use of our services. At the moment the OpenVPN Tun32 driver doesn't support Vista either and as such AYIYA tunnels can't be created either to circumvent this problem.

Because of this we ask you to show your opinion, either by posting in the forum or drop us a note at info@sixxs.net. We will then aggregate these responses and forward them to Microsoft who hopefully will then raise the level of importance on this bug so that when Vista ships it is actually in there.

AICCU 2006.08.06 - debconf update

Sunday, August 6th, 2006
To better support Debian-based distributions, the AICCU Debian Configuration now also supports selection of the Tunnel Broker using the debconf system. The configuration file updating has also been updated so that it nicely rewrites the configuration file. Last but not least we have now also added the armeb branch in the Apt Repository so that users from that platform can also easily install it. The AICCU Apt Repository was changed with the release of 2006.07.23 which made it easy to add another branch next to the i386 and amd64 flavours that are already in the repository since that release. Debian users thus only have to 'apt-get update; apt-get dist-upgrade' to get the new version installed on their machines. Note that the version number has been updated so that it looks higher than the broken version which can be found in the Debian repositories.The changelog contains the details.

Poll: DNSSEC support for reverse DNS zones?

Sunday, September 3rd, 2006
We are considering to provide DNSSEC signed reverse DNS zones. This would allow users to test out how this technology works and if it scales well or not. Testing this should have a minimum impact in case any problems are discovered. What we would like to know if there if users want this feature and if they would really use it when we would make the SixXS infrastructure support DNSSEC. Please mail SixXS with your handle and a description on how you could use this. When enough requests come in we will consider to implement DNSSEC.

IPv6 Access Providers

Tuesday, September 5th, 2006
With DOCSIS 3.0 recently released, more providers are expected to start deploying native IPv6 towards their customers. We have therefore compiled a list of providers which are already providing native connectivity to their clients. As native is better than tunneled, we are now providing a FAQ entry for all the lucky people who can already get native IPv6 connectivity. The FAQ: Where can I get native IPv6 / Which ISP's provide IPv6?.

Website changes

Friday, September 22nd, 2006
We have been enhancing the website step by step to give a better experience the users, thus you, of this website. One of the many changes is the addition of the green warning boxes, which contains information that is very crucial. This has been done as we found that a lot of people simply don't read the text at all and then complain after ward that they didn't know. We hope that the addition of those boxes users will be made more aware of those important items. Of course everything else that can be read is also important and should also still be read. We've also added SiteInfo support, which will provide one, when the browser supports it, with a quick menu which also makes navigation easier. Another change that is noticeable is the addition of the section headers. Pages that contain a lot of information will have an index on the top giving direct links to that information. More changes, like a new Signup Wizard, are in the pipeline. Comments and questions are always welcome.

Windows Vista: AYIYA works

Sunday, October 1st, 2006

Thanks to a patch supplied by Henry Nestler, the OpenVPN TAP32 driver now also works on Windows Vista. By installing the new beta version of this driver AYIYA tunnels work on Windows Vista. Normal and heartbeat IPv6 tunnels (proto-41) don't work yet, this might get resolved in a new release of AICCU.

update: the driver can be found on the OpenVPN website.

Windows Vista configured tunnels, back in build 5744

Tuesday, October 10th, 2006
Windows Vista build 5744 has configured tunnels support using the netsh interface just like Windows XP has. AICCU is now thus fully supported on this platform. Thanks to Microsoft for re-instating this feature.

My Tickets now available from User Home

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007
To make tracking tickets easier we have added a My Tickets page in the User Home which lists all the tickets that the user has opened or commented on. The ticket page itself now also groups based on the status category hopefully making the Ticket Tracker easier in use.

SixXS's 4th anniversary

Monday, October 23rd, 2006
SixXS celebrates 4th anniversary!
Still going strong into the fifth year, SixXS is still growing fast. The last year we have seen the introduction of the SixXS PoP v3a which allowed full integration of AYIYA support. The bye-bye to the 6bone and ip6.int where also big milestones. AICCU also got a new version again and will soon be opening up even a bit more. Growth patterns seem still to go up and in this fourth year we have been bumping into the 30mbit more often. The new Ticketing System helps problems to reported easier and users to see what is happening, with the end result higher user satisfaction.

This all would have never been possible to the ISP's providing the PoPs, so here's a big thank you from us to them.
As like last year: Happy birthday and enjoy IPv6

Home Logins now always SSL based

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006
With Halloween in mind we have made a change in the login procedure. Previously when trying to login to a password protected page, there was a notification mentioning if the connection was SSL based or not with an advise to change to the SSL version of the website. We have changed this now so that when using the non-SSL version of the website, the POST of the login details are sent to the SSL version of the website and when logged in one is also in the SSL version. The login page (which always looks the same) additionally contains the text:
The address bar should start with either https://noc.sixxs.net/ (SSL) or http://www.sixxs.net/ (non-SSL).
Before posting the form and actually typing your username/password verify that that is indeed the case.
This should make security conscious persons a bit happier.

Two additional /40 allocations being used for new subnets at Easynet PoP

Friday, November 24th, 2006
Easynet has assigned a fourth and fifth /40 to the deham01 PoP hosted by them. In total a 1x /38 + 1x /40, or the equivalent of 5x /40, thus 1280 /48's are now possible on that PoP. 768 /48's have already been allocated to end-users and are in use by them. Thanks has to go to Easynet for providing this to us and thus to you. In total the 21 SixXS PoPs now comprise of 25 /40's or 7.737.125.245.533.626.718.119.526.400 IPv6 addresses. More realistically it is to say though that it allows for 6400 /48's to be allocated to end-users, who can then deploy IPv6 at their homes and workplaces.

As a bonus we reveal you something nice that the Chinese are providing: Video On Demand over IPv6, including movies like The Day After Tomorrow and numerous more. Requests which where queued up have now all been approved, enjoy the IPv6 connectivity and the movies!

SurfNet PoP upgraded

Thursday, December 7th, 2006
After the short power outage at SARA in Amsterdam which resulted in some hardware problems for the SURFnet PoP, the hardware has been replaced and SURFnet also directly upgraded the operating system of the PoP. The latter allowed for an upgrade to the latest SixXS PoP code. This means that nlams05 is now also an AYIYA capable PoP.
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