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News of 2012

This page contains the news items from the year of 2012.

Happy MMXII : IPv6Gate 4.0

Sunday, January 1st, 2012

SixXS wishes everybody a happy and fruitful 2012!

SixXS will exist for 10 years later this year and to start the celebrations we have released today an upgrade as a first gift to the community: IPv6Gate 4.0

We have overhauled the IPv6Gate internals making it quite a bit faster but also allowing unlimited request sizes and streaming of requests. This means that quite a few streaming services are now automatically usable through the gateway.

As always, in case of problems don't hesitate to contact us.

Mini Forum update

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

We have updated the forum so that quoting others is easier and better visible. One can now also use standard e-mail style quotes, thus by identing lines with the greater than (>) symbol.

Thus hop on to the forums and enjoy this mini update.

New CACert SSL Certificate

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

We refreshed our CACert certificate, this has a SHA-1 signature. The new serial is 60129, version 3 and the SHA-1 fingerprint is: 17 1C 98 23 DB 71 ED 84 CF 72 2C 31 FB 56 36 E9 1A F1 38 42. The expiry is in two years thus on Friday, 3 January 2014 w1 18:14:03 GMT+01:00, we'll refresh it before then again.

SixXS on SOPA strike

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

SixXS has been following several legislation lobbys in the United States which aim to make online piracy easier to fight legally. While we're in no way endorsing copyright violation and theft of intellectual property (or any other property for that matter), we're genuinely concerned about the big-hammer approach of the SOPA and PIPA bills that are being discussed in Jan/Feb 2012 in the US Senate and House.

Several cornerstone websites have made it clear that they, too, do not support these bills. Websites much larger than ours (wikipedia.org, google.com, craigslist.org, to name but a few) have turned off their service in protest on January 18th 2012. SixXS joins these sites by following suite - we will not serve our homepage today.

Further reading: EFF, SOPAstrike.com, Google, Wikipedia, The Bill.

AICCU Multiple-Tunnel Adapter update

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

A new small update to AICCU was released so that it better handles situations where multiple tunnel adapters are available while only one is needed for AICCU.

This fix also adds a 'press key to close window' add so that one can actually see what is in the console window output before it disappears when it closes.

One can download it from the AICCU page.

SixXS v4 for all PoPs

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

We have almost completed the upgrade of all the PoPs to sixxsd v4.

This means that all PoPs that are now upgraded will have the extra per-default /64 subnets for each tunnel. Thus if you are a CPE user you can directly assign addresses to hosts behind your CPE.

Latency and Traffic collection has also been upgraded and the global traffic stats will stabilize shortly after we have worked out some minor kinks with the system running at full-scale.

For more details on the new things that sixxsd v4 brings, please see our news archives.

As always, in case of problems don't hesitate to contact us.

Today is the day: World IPv6 Launch

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Today is the day of the World IPv6 Launch where various large content providers finally IPv6 enable their websites and hopefully keep the AAAA records there for a long long time.

But not only websites are being IPv6 enabled, more importantly end-users networks are being IPv6 enabled in some cases with native connectivity, in others with 6rd.

Comcast has been seen adding AAAA records to their SMTP servers too, both inbound and outbound, thus spam will finally really start to flow in large quantities over IPv6, and where there is spam, there is real use of a network.

This day will mark that IPv6 is here to stay and welcomes thousands of users to it, welcome to the future of the Internet!

Good morning Vietnam! A new PoP in Hanoi courtesy of NetNam: vnhan01

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

We proudly present a new PoP hosted by a new provider: NetNam Corporation. The new PoP is located in Hanoi, Vietnam and is open to all endpoints in the region. This is also the first Asian PoP.

Details about the new PoP can be found on the NetNam vnhan01 information page.

Small website and IPv6Gate tweaks

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

There have recently been two minor website tweaks. The first is that your user home will notify you when a TIC client, eg AICCU has been detected from making large amounts of queries to our TIC servers. This in addition to the email that you will have received too. Hopefully this makes people resolve the problem and stop putting AICCU and other TIC clients in a repeating auto-connect loop which in some cases means one is making multiple connection attempts per second to our TIC servers, which will then automatically block those clients as there is no need to be requesting configuration details that often as they remain constant. From now on you will see in your user home if you are part of that problem too. Of course this only works when the username filled into the configuration is valid otherwise the reporting tools do not have enough information to know who the connection is for. Always check your logs to see what the result of a daemon is, they tend to report problems and exit when there are issues, automatically restarting it does not resolve those problems.

The other tweaks is that we have modified the Cookie handling of IPv6Gate. It now properly handles Cookie arrays, thus where a Cookie value is actually an array instead of a single value. This is why one will now see 4.1 in the version headers of IPv6Gate.

As always, in case of problems don't hesitate to contact us. The queue is long but we are trying to get through most of it next to the normal daily work.

Return to the City of Angels with the BurstNET PoP: uslax02

Friday, July 27th, 2012

We are proud to present a new BurstNET PoP: uslax02. With this new PoP we return to Los Angeles, California and the United States West Coast.

Details about the new PoP can be found on the BurstNET PoP page.

Call for Applications: International IPv6 Application Contest 2012

Monday, August 20th, 2012

Like previous years, we'd like again to bring to attention to everybody that the Call For Applications for the International IPv6 Application Contest 2012 is out. This year they have again a first prize of 10.000 euros, as such, don't hesitate to compete along as even the idea category brings a nice 1000 euro prize! 2012 is definitely the year of IPv6 (now that various big organizations have enabled IPv6 on their public websites), thus do contribute to this contest and get your idea out there.

The submission deadline is on the 24th of October 2012 and the award ceremony will be on November 29th in Potsdam, Germany. See the the International IPv6 Application Contest 2012 website for a lot more details.

DNSSEC Updates

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

We have pushed through various changes in our DNS management toolchain that resolves a couple of DNSSEC related issues. These changes cause, except for some outstanding delegation issues, all zones hosted on ns{123}.sixxs.net to be fully DNSSEC signed when DLV is used.

All the forward and reverse tunnel spaces are now fully DNSSEC signed. As these zones are quite large by themselves already, DNSSEC signing exploded that quite a bit further and we now serve close to 1 GiB of DNS zone files, before the change this was around 1 MiB. HEAnet (ns1) and Team Cymru (ns3) have upgraded the memory installed in the servers they host to cope with this extra requirement. Many thanks for their continued and quick support in making that possible.

The DNSSEC Status Page shows the status of each zone. We are working with the ISPs where the zones are marked as non-good to get them into a good status. In most cases the delegation is there, but TCP is disabled on an intermediary DNS server which is causing the DLV test to fail.

noc.sixxs.net hardware upgrade sponsored by Concepts ICT

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Due to hardware instability on the old machine and the need for more memory and more cpu power Concepts ICT has donated replaced the noc.sixxs.net machine, this time with a Dell PowerEdge 1950 with a dual quad core E5230 at 1.86hz and 4 GiB of memory. One very important change is that the machine became 64bit, formerly it was still running 32bits. This required various upgrades to our SixXS internal tools for monitoring, especially latency and traffic statistics.

We'd like to graciously thank Concepts ICT for sponsoring this new iteration of noc.sixxs.net which is running there for more than 10 years already! Concepts ICT also runs the Concepts PoP and colocates both the gatey.sixxs.net machine which runs as our primary database and webfrontend, and the noc.sixxs.net machine in their colocation facility in Breda, The Netherlands providing for free: hardware, power and bandwidth to run these crucial SixXS components.

Easier management of reverse zones using DNAME

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

We have added a new option to set up reverse DNS using a DNAME record. This thus allows one to 'redirect' the reverse (...x.x.x.ip6.arpa) zone into another domain. That way one can host the reverse zone at any DNS provider without having to claim that one actually owns the ip6.arpa variant and it also allows one to easily swap prefixes if needed.

Additionally we have clarified the subnet configuration page a bit better so that it should be easier to make use of it. Of course, feedback to make things even better is always welcome.

Statistics: Top signup days

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

Sometimes we get a flood of new signups and we wonder how many there really are and if it really is more than other times or just our review queue clogging up. As we really like statistic we dug into the numbers and we found the following top 10 and top 5.

DaySignupsLikely cause
2011-06-08223World IPv6 Day 2011
2012-06-06156World IPv6 Day 2012
2011-02-04120?
2012-06-07113World IPv6 Day 2012
2011-02-01108?
2011-06-09103World IPv6 Day 2011
2011-06-0795World IPv6 Day 2011
2011-02-0295?
2011-02-0392?
2011-02-0583?

Monthly view:

MonthSignupsLikely cause
2011-021644?
2011-061626World IPv6 Day 2011
2011-011289?
2012-061085World IPv6 Day 2012
2011-051077World IPv6 Day 2011 (leadup?)

The World IPv6 Day thus can definitely be considered a success as a lot of people clearly signed up around that time to get IPv6 connectivity from SixXS. Of course there were a lot of other providers where people got even native connectivity from.

If you have speculations of why at certain dates had high signup rates, don't hesitate to enlighten us.

Real time statistics can be found in our misc section amongst which graphs for requests, usage and traffic. Outstanding unhandled requests can be seen on our contact page.

Live Tunnel Status

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

We are introducing today a feature made possible by sixxsd v4: Live Tunnel Status from the PoP.

When you go to the tunnel details page for a tunnel you will find a 'PoP Status' column with a link leading to the 'Live Tunnel Status on the PoP'. This page will show the current status from the internals of sixxsd.

It contains, amongst others, the current IPv4 address of the endpoint of the tunnel, the last heartbeat that was seen, any error conditions the PoP recognized for that tunnel and many other things. This should give a better insight if the PoP is properly receiving packets and/or if it recognizes any other problems with the tunnel.

10 years SixXS!

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

SixXS celebrates it's 10th anniversary!

Still going strong after a full decade SixXS is still growing fast, especially with more and more users finding the usefulness of having a static IP address for their home and mobile nodes so that they can access either easily without having to circumvent NATs.

From a perspective of PoP-count, publically available active user, tunnel and traffic statistics SixXS is the largest and most open IPv6 tunneled connectivity provider and that all as a spare-time project of two people.

We are also very proud to be able to claim that we have well achieved our stated targets. We hope that SixXS will be able to provide this for the next ten years, though we do guess that the tunneling portion of SixXS will by then have become IPv4-over-IPv6 as people are unable to receive IPv4 from their ISPs and are receiving IPv6 natively and still have legacy applications that require unnatted IPv4, eg various old game(console)s that will have not be upgraded to support IPv6.

Over the last ten years we have seen the end of the 6bone and ip6.int, the migration from the former IPng.nl Tunnel Broker to the SixXS system, the deployment of IPv6 on major content providers like Akamai, Google and Facebook and many access ISPs starting to provide native IPv6 to their customers.

The last year we have seen the introduction of the SixXS PoP v4 implementation which made performance and stability much better on all the PoPs and added a variety of welcome new features like the Live Tunnel Status details. One of the features that nobody sees though is that the management of the PoPs has been simplified a lot thus making that part of work for the SixXS Staff quite a bit lighter on a day by day basis. The stability of the v4 code also means that we have had zero PoP-side configuration issues.

We have seen a heavy growth of AICCU usage and possibly an even bigger milestone, the integration in not only various Linux distributions (Debian, Fedora, Ubuntu, etc), but also various router/CPE vendor's (AVM, Motorola, Draytek, to name a few) productsshipping with out-of-the-box support for SixXS's TIC/AYIYA/heartbeat stack of protocols.

We are nowadays peaking well over a full gigabit of traffic, while 5 years back we were only doing a small, but then considerately large, 30 mbit/s, that is quite an increase in traffic, mostly thanks to the free NNTP servers and deployment of IPv6 at the major content providers.

Ten years of SixXS would have never been possible without the support of the ISPs who are providing the PoPs, and the many individuals who have made having those PoPs possible. Don't hesitate to send a big thank you to these ISPs! They in combination of the staff's time, make SixXS possible.

As we are now entering the next decade of running SixXS, the 12th year of providing IPv6 Tunnels if one includes the time we operated the IPng.nl Tunnel Broker, life has changed quite a bit for the SixXS Staff and has become quite busy with a lot of other important tasks, amongst others family life and that tidbit called work for paying bills. Noting that we still run SixXS in our free time. Because of that there are quite a few enhancements to the SixXS systems in the pipeline for some time that have not made it to the public yet even while some of those are mostly finished. A new version of AICCU is one of the major things that is pending for some time already, we have recently also stated our intent to fully maintain the Debian packages of AICCU. We also still have the new signup system in the pipeline which will also finally bring editing of user details through the webinterface along with support for non-ascci characters, which is a feature requested by our Russian and Asian users. We hope we'll be able to get these out these year still, but free time is a rare and expensive item and keeping systems up and running and resolving outages has priority over finalizing and bringing these features out, especially as they need to be properly tested before being launched upon a 30k+ user base, thus please bear with us for these features to come.

Happy birthday SixXS and enjoy IPv6, be that provided by SixXS or by other providers!

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