Linode Launches Native IPv6 Support

May 3, 2011 3:29 pm

Over the past 25 years the Internet has experienced astronomical growth – far more than the original architects imagined. As a result, the pools of unallocated IPv4 blocks have been accelerating toward exhaustion. In fact, on February 3rd, 2011 the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) allocated the remaining pool of addresses equally among the five Regional Internet Registries thereby completely depleting the source of IPs available under IPv4. Consequently, it has become vital for all Internet stakeholders to get serious about migrating to IPv6.

IPv4 was released in 1981 as a 32-bit range that provided roughly 4.3 billion IP addresses. Unfortunately, in just a few years, the protocol was identified to have scalability problems under the Classful Network architecture it employed at the time. As a result, the IETF was formed in 1991 and replaced the previous addressing architecture with Classless Inter-Domain Routing (CIDR) with the goal of slowing the growth of routing tables across the Internet and ultimately the depletion of IPv4 addresses.

With IPv4 address exhaustion inevitable, in 1998 the IETF announced a new protocol known as IPv6. This new protocol uses 128 bit addresses capable of supporting 340 undecillion addresses.Β  To put that into context it amounts to: the existing Internet times the Internet times the Internet times the Internet worth of addresses.

Obviously this allows for many more devices on the network and while also eliminating the need for Network Address Translation (NAT).

However, adoption of IPv6 has been pitifully slow. In fact, according to a recent study by Arbor Networks, IPv6 represents less than 1% of all IP traffic seen on the Internet and very few cloud hosting providers have stepped up to help make this necessary transition possible for their subscribers.

The essence of the problem comes down to this: service providers don’t want IPv6 because there is no subscriber demand, subscribers don’t want it due to lack of content, and the content providers don’t want it unless there are subscribers. Nevertheless, the tipping point for the transition is around the corner and it is better to begin testing and migrating now rather than being left out in the game of IPv4 musical chairs.Β  We don’t want to be part of the problem.

Linode – part of the solution

While this industry-wide problem has been challenging, Linode has accelerated its efforts towards IPv6 adoption. Subsequently, Linode is proud to announce today native IPv6 support.Β  This will be a phased roll-out across the facilities, starting with immediate availability in Fremont, Newark in a week or so, followed by Dallas.Β  For current IPv6 availability please see the Linode IPv6 Status and Frequently Asked Questions page which will be maintained here: http://www.linode.com/IPv6/.

Enjoy!

UPDATE 2011-05-05 – Newark online and IPv6 Pools available

UPDATE 2011-05-26 – Dallas is now IPv6 enabled!

UPDATE 2011-05-31 – There’s now an ‘Enable IPv6’ link on your Linode’s Remote Access subtab.

UPDATE 2011-12-20 – London and Atlanta IPv6 Enabled – blog post.

UPDATE 2012-02-28 – IPv6 Available Everywhere! – blog post.

75 Responses

  1. Yes, finally! Thanks, Linode. πŸ™‚

  2. Awesome, thanks!

  3. This is wonderful news, but I may have to move my Linode out of the Atlanta data center now which would be very inconvenient. I hope we’ll be seeing an ETA for Atlanta soon.

  4. Truly impressive!

  5. So if Linode is really taking IPv6 seriously, when will linode.com be dual-stacked?

  6. O_O I was just reading the IPv6 tunneling article in the library this afternoon, wondering when Linode would introduce it. I am shocked and amazed by this development! I was going to re-format my Linode to clean it up and experiment w/ IPv6 tunneling, I am certainly very impressed!! Merci beaucoup~!!

  7. I’ve been waiting for this for a while, but it’s very disappointing to see you’re going to be charging for allocations larger than a /128.

    What’s up with that guys?

  8. Chris,
    I hear that IPV4 hosts can’t communicate with IPV6 or something.
    Will this effect people getting to say a Linode with IPV6 support?
    Also, what will a public IP address that is IPV6 look like?
    I’m sure it wouldn’t look like this: 195.745.39.75.
    I know that IPV6 has been around in operating systems even before adoption became necesary. So why such a bad choice to not adopt? I’m glad you folks have!
    I just hope that others will step up and do it, or it’s there loss, and it won’t be yours. πŸ™‚

  9. Only a /128? There are plenty of other VPS providers out there who will give at least a /64, no questions asked.

  10. Using a HE tunnel, I have an IPv6 /64 allocated to my node *right now*. It required only a few minutes of setup. Why does the “native” solution allocate only one address?

    > I hear that IPV4 hosts can’t communicate with IPV6 or something.
    > Will this effect people getting to say a Linode with IPV6 support?
    > Also, what will a public IP address that is IPV6 look like?
    > I’m sure it wouldn’t look like this: 195.745.39.75.

    IPv4-only can’t communicate with IPv6-only. This announcement is that Linode VPS will support both, so they can communicate with both.

    A public IPv6 address looks something like this: 2001:470:1f04:454::2

  11. (specifically the part about charging money for more v6 address space)

  12. http://tools.ietf.org/search/rfc6177

    http://www.bircd.org/annoyances/prefix64/

    With all the IPv6 space Linode has, this policy is ridiculous. I’m disappointed. IPv6 is important to me.

    It’s strange how you can get a /48 for free through a tunnel, but once you pay for IPv6 service you’re limited to a /128! Seriously, just think about that for a while and please reconsider your policy.

  13. How much are we going to be paying to get more than a /128 and can we just get them or do we have to jump through hoops to prove that the additional addresses are “needed” (for someone else’s value of “needed”)?

  14. While it is always good that IPv6 support is expanded, your policy on address allocation leaves much to be desired. There are plenty of other VPS providers that allocate a /64 from the start. To only give a single address and charge for a /64 is a bit short sighted, you know, if you actually want to use this as a selling point.

  15. I too am somewhat disappointed that I won’t get a block for free. What is pricing like, and what is the reasoning for charging? My first guess is because it would require more router resources to manage, but without knowing the cost, I can’t gauge if it’s a reasonable fee.

  16. @People asking why the first /128 is free but further allocations cost money:

    It’s most likely due to the fact that Linode doesn’t yet have the infastructure in place to automate that kind of thing.
    HE and SixXS have been doing it for *years* so they have the backend control down pat.

    Give Linode some time and I’m sure they’ll start handing out /64’s to Accounts as standard.

  17. hosting providers virtually always give out a /64. leaseweb is the odd one out with a /112. giving a /128 is completely unacceptable.

  18. if router resources are an argument, consider that hosting providers commonly give a range in a shared subnet (like /64 in /48), however, if this is being one, there needs to be protection against L2 attacks.

  19. and the router resources argument is rather weak – it takes fewer router resources to route one /64 than 2 or 3 /128s (assuming it’s not a shared layer 2 medium but the /128s are instead routed)

  20. Whoa, careful with that liberal allocation policy, guys. We don’t want to run out of IPv6 addresses too.

  21. @Ryan – Yeah… I figured that was probably the case. But I’m grasping at straws here. It should be pretty simple to allocate a /64 as well. On their end, it’s approximately the same as setting up a /128, if it’s routed. The tricky work is on the server end, and that’s /our/ job.

  22. In the FAQ, they have this line, which is intriguing: We’ll also be releasing the ability to have an entire /64 routed to one of your IPv6 enabled Linode’s addresses. From there you can route it whever you like.

    Does this imply we can take our free /64 from HE and have it properly routed to our box? Or is this just another part of the blocks they’ll lease us thing?

  23. @Matt, Your tunnelbroker.net space is not portable to Linode or any other service outside of tunnelbroker.net. Linode is likely going to make /64 allocations out of their own IPv6 allocation.

  24. There is no “policy” other than this: You get IPv6 *free*. If you really want a pool of IPs you may need to throw us a couple bucks per year. If you want a /64 routed to you, that’ll also be a couple bucks a year.

    We’re not out to profit from this, just to recoup some of the administrative, network, abuse, monitoring, and support overhead. I think that’s a completely acceptable and responsible way to run our business. I’m sorry that some of you are disappointed with that decision, but this is the reality of it.

    Anyhow, kudos to the team responsible for getting IPv6 support out – great job, and we hope everyone enjoys this new feature!

  25. @caker I’m not horribly upset. Mildly disappointed sums it up. I’m also very glad that you’re doing it at all, and if it’s just a few bucks a year, that’s great. ($1 a month or so, for those of us on monthly?)

  26. I too would like to know when the ATL facility will have dual stacks. I am currently using HE’s tunnelbroker service but occasionally experience some serious latency.

  27. This is great news, wish the /64 was free, but if its the same cost as an additional ipv4 address its not too bad.

  28. @caker: Yep, I saw that, oh well, I can at least help my friends hookup their nodes at other facilities. Keep up the good work!

  29. Wow people!
    Please please, stop pounding Linode LLC all because they need to make some money as network administrators and such.
    I’m for sure not complaining, one way to get more than one IPV6 IP would be to do what you do right now if you do not want to go through LInode for justification, as that applys to getting an IP for a single node in addition to what you have.
    Just pay for multiple Linodes! :)!
    That solves all!
    That being said, I like Linode.com a lot.
    I wrote a nice review (typoed it a bit due to long fingers) that I’ve since fixed, but as a toally blind customer I could not resist.
    Please see my review and feel free to comment (you’ll be asked a math question) so don’t worry about filling out graphical pictures.
    The URL is:
    http://goo.gl/b5o3x
    I whent a bit overboard when my friend said something I thought was against Linode as a company, and I do care about Linode and all customers current and future in general, you folks are way too awesome.
    Thank you for providing us IPV6 Criss and the other great folks.
    I wonder if LInode will ever be futured on mor podcasts? Chris, the only one you were on was way back when you still had user mode Linux v.s the wonderful Xen stuff you have today!
    Oh and I’ve also had my first potential customer use my referral code.
    For more, see my “audio tutorial post” that I posted specifically in the customers testimonials on the Linode forums.
    Any feedback on my other way of helping newbies find Linode would be awesome and appreciated!
    God Bless Linode, and the rest of you!

  30. As a customer, I’m happy Linode has decided to jump into IPv6. One more reason to stay with you guys πŸ™‚

  31. How’s it going. I’m glad to hear you’re making this transition. World IPv6 day is looming, and I’m happy to hear about each hosting provider and ISP which is joining the future.

    That said, I feel like I should correct some statements made in your blog post. Specifically, IPv6 (originally called IP-ng) was formulated in December 1994 and into 1995 under RFC 1719 and 1726 and formalized as a protocol in RFC 1883 in December of 1995. From March 1996 to June 2006, IETF ran a testbed for IPv6 called 6bone, which allowed further development of the protocol. The current revision of IPv6 was specified in 1998 under RFC 2460 with later modifications in several later RFCs to deal with addressing, address types, allocations, and transports.

    Good luck, and I look forward to hearing about the successes at Linode moving forward with this transition.

  32. I’m a big fan (and user) of Linode and am excited to see that you have rolled out native IPv6 support! But this /128 allocation is a bummer. The key advantage of IPv6 is the nearly unlimited address space, so why neuter it with this false scarcity pricing? Linode has at least one /30 allocated (2600:3C00::/30), which is more than enough for you to provide a full /64 to every person on earth.

    I already spend hundreds of dollars per month on my Linodes and I’m not personally bothered by this fee if it truly is nominal. But if other ISPs follow your lead and try to treat IPv6 allocation as a profit center like IPv4, it could destroy the incentive for people to migrate. If you want to use IPv6 as a way to squeeze money out of people, I suggest this method: provide IPv6 addresses free and charge people for IPv4. At least that would align the costs to favor IPv6 adoption, which you claim to be trying to help.

    Also, if you insist on charging an IPv6 fee, please at least disclose how much it is.

    Thanks,
    Fyodor

  33. Stick it to Rackspace guys.

  34. This is an awesome step and I’m really happy to see Linode add native IPv6 support. As people start using this and turning up service I’m sure Linode will add various IPv6 related services based on customer feedback. Besides not having encapsulation overhead, *native* IPv6 is frequently faster than IPv4 to many destinations in the world because of more optimal network topology and transit relationships. πŸ˜‰ It varies, however if that is the case now, it ought to translate to real benefits as IPv6 becomes widely deployed. Rolling out native IPv6 gives Linode customers the ability to develop applications that take advantage of this, in addition to futureproofing their businesses now that IPv4 is finally running out at the RIRs.

    Major congratulations!!!

  35. wonderful!!

  36. @MikeLeber Thank you! We really appreciate it! — along with the hard work you and your team have done at Hurricane Electric to accelerate the availability and adoption of IPv6. We’re happy to be on board πŸ™‚

  37. While I still think that charging people for IPv6 addresses as if they are scare is a poor decision, I just tried your new IPv6 feature and it is really slick! The support ticket took only 14 minutes to assign IPv6 addresses for each of my Linodes, and then configuration was automatic upon reboot. I next added DNS records using the Linode DNS manager, which already supports AAAA records. I’m already up and running!

    Yes, some support is still missing (reverse DNS, IPv6 glue records, etc.), and yes, the IPv6 surcharge is annoying. But bravo anyway for getting this far! I have confidence that Linode will fix the remaining issues over time.

  38. I am likewise disappointed in defaulting to a /128.

    I find this not only disappointing as a current linode customer, but I feel it sets a poor precedence for the market.

  39. @fyodor

    I think charging a small amount for ipv6 is perfectly reasonable. Afterall, Linode have clearly had to make some changes in their infrastructure which COSTS MONEY not only in terms of equipment but staff time too. You can’t expect a business to give you something for free which costs them money. Especially when the company who is providing you guides on how to do it for free and support which is simply put, the best.

    @caker

    Bravo, and thanks!

  40. Grats Linode. As I’m already used to paying for an IPv4 allocation I don’t mind an additional charge for IPv6 too, so long as it’s not a hideous expense.

    Any idea how much it will cost?

  41. Awesome! Thanks for bringing native IPv6 to us, Linode!

  42. This is great.

    I just signed up recently and got curious today. While it would be nice to already have it, I definitely appreciate knowing it’s in the works!

  43. Great news! I’ll be a new customer within two weeks and setting up a few machines in London for our business. Hope to see the iPv6 support there as soon as possible πŸ™‚

  44. London: Q4 2011… Your providers are really dragging their feet on this one apparently.

    That said, once you’ve set your infrastructure up for assigning and routing subnets I don’t understand what ongoing administrative costs there would be.
    Supposedly the extra IPv4 address cost reflects the limited availability of them.

  45. Cactus: just deal with it. Linode can do whatever they wish; it isn’t up to you to judge them for business practices.
    Like I tried to say (and I beileve I was extremely kind abotu it) why complain?
    I am perfectly wiling to go along with anything Caker chooses to do, even if that is in the end far more money out of people’s pockets.
    If it helps Linode.com, who cares if times are difficult for anyone?
    Not me, personally.
    Well, I do care, but only to a point.
    At some point you have to not care, and start looking at the fact that Linode.com in my opinion has done more for this technical world than any other company.
    Linode has been the first to really get anything going regardless of how many hosting providers exist.
    Caker started this business in 2003, and has never had an unreasonable charge before.
    He does what he does to survive, as we all must.
    May I kindly point out that transitioning to IPV6 won’t be an inexpensive thing fo rCaker and Linode folks to undertake in general?
    We users need to remember that, and do our best to appreciate the efforts that are being undertaken for us.
    I believe LInode mentioned the fee in the FAQ on IPV6.
    If not, then that will be updated sometime and probably murged into the main FAQ and have a section for itself probably.
    That’s my idea on that. πŸ™‚
    Caker: keep up the good work, thanks again!
    Love you Linode!

  46. @Tony: I agree that Linode needs to recover their costs. I just wish they would bundle an IPv6 /64 in with their Linode/bandwidth costs like they do with the single IPv4 /32 address they provide “free”. I believe that IPv6 adoption will benefit everyone, especially service providers such as Linode (and their customers). My worry is that extra fees (especially in this early adopter period) will limit adoption and potentially doom the transition and lead us to paying more and more for increasingly scarce IPv4 addresses. Nobody wants that.

    Still, I don’t want to sound ungrateful for the new feature. Even with the current limitations, I have already found it useful! For example, here is an IPv6-only web site I put up after enabling the feature yesterday: http://scanmev6.nmap.org/. And if the fee for an IPv6 /64 turns out to be “a couple bucks a year” as @Caker states above, that’s not a big deal. I just hope Linode doesn’t charge any more for an IPv6 /64 than they do for a much-more-scarce IPv4 /32. Linode currently charges $12/year for an IPv4 /32. It turns out that the /64 feature (and the IPv6 address pools) aren’t available yet anyway, nor have the prices been announced.

    In conclusion, I’m happy Linode has added this feature and I’m looking forward to the continued improvements, even though the IPv6 surcharge is mildly disappointing.

  47. Just to add another voice, I’m another customer who was initially excited that he’d be able to migrate off of a tunnel (and that you’d apparently moved up your timetable for rollout, rather than waiting for native support in all DCs, which is great!), but then saw that you’ve chosen to default to a /128 allocation to users.

    /64 was intended to be the default unit of end-customer allocation, and it’s disappointing to see Linode charge a fee for that. I’ll stick with a tunnel for now, with the hope that you’ll read what your customers are telling you, and change your minds on this. You’re better than Comcast, guys (people on the Comcast IPv6 trial will know what I’m referring to).

    (Small rant: this obviously isn’t about scarcity anymore, as it would be trivial to justify /64 allocations to end customers to your RIR, and you have a /30 to work out of anyway. And I don’t buy the “overhead” argument; you’re going to have similar management overhead whether you allocate a /128 or a /64. It smells like an ATM fee to me.)

    @Keith: “Just deal with it” isn’t a helpful response; customers are raising valid concerns about a decision that’s been made, as is our right. Linode isn’t a charity, and while I appreciate seeing new services being turned up, I will always reserve the right to raise my voice if I’m not happy about how they’re being implemented.

    Aside: in case you guys didn’t know, there’s a discussion of this over at Hacker News as well: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2511535

  48. You rock! This dykey sysadmin has been very impressed since starting with you guys and this only continues the trend πŸ™‚

  49. Yay, thanks! I’ve added AAAA records across all my domains now. For the record I couldn’t care less about getting only a /128 – at least for now. Some time down the track I’ll probably want to do something fancy like have different IPs for each of my domains but I’m happy to wait until it’s rolled out across the board with a friendly interface.

    VirtualHosts are fine for IPv6 for now. I’ve never had an IPv6 visitor before (been running an HE tunnel for 12 months or so), with the exception of Googlebot.

  50. Awesome work, Linode. My IPv6 request ticket for my Fremont Linode was resolved in less than 1 minute, I kid you not.

    All set up and my site is serving via IPv6 now. πŸ™‚

  51. Dang. The original announcement said it would be about a week before IPv6 would be available in Newark and it only took 48 hours. That’s great turnaround.

  52. @ Keith
    I don’t know what to make of your rambling so I will just ignore it.

    @linode
    It appears that the ipv6 page has been updated to include more information.
    http://www.linode.com/IPv6/

    > * Can I get more than one IPv6 address?
    > Absolutely. Additional IPv6 addresses are free.
    > snip
    > We are also working on the ability to have an entire /64 subnet routed to one of your IPv6 addresses – even one of the Pool addresses, which means you can fail over the entire subnet. Stay tuned!

    This is great news!
    πŸ˜€

  53. great πŸ™‚
    looking forward to it
    thanks

  54. YAY for free IPv6! This was already a great announcement. With that update I’m even more thrilled! πŸ™‚ Now if Dallas would just come online… πŸ™‚

  55. I’m glad to see that Linode address pools are free now! This is why I’ve been so happy with Linode–they actually listen to their customers. Unfortunately I can’t say that about all of my hosting providers.

  56. Whats this whole /64 and /128 etc? are the /128 IPs longer?

  57. I don’t see the issue with Linode only giving out /128’s

    /128 = 1 address,
    /64 = 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 IPv6 addresses

    Do you realisticly believe you need that many IPs by default? If Linode assigns /64’s to everyone (given they have an /48) they can only assign 65,536 LAN segments (/64’s)

    And for default routing, I would think Linode would be assigning a /64 to the rack or host machine, and assign /128’s out of that /64.

    At most, I could see a user needing 4 maybe 6 IPs on one box.

    Ref: http://www.ripe.net/images/cidr_working41.jpg

  58. IPv6 addressing scheme sux, it’s not clear, IPv4 makes sense. It always made sense. IPv6 addressing looks like it was dreamt up by an alien.

    Thanks Linode for staying on top of this I might have to learn it in 10 years or so, we will need a pool of experts, from the responses, sounds like there are already some.

  59. Can I still keep my IPv4 address alongside IPv6.

  60. Linode rocks big time! πŸ˜€

  61. Hi,

    Any news on when Dallas will get IPv6?

    P.S. I’m in the group that finds it dissapointing you don’t get a /64. My home broadband line has a /48 and my colo server has a /48. Both free of course…

  62. Henrik, I think they dropped the pricing for additional ipv6 addresses:
    http://www.linode.com/IPv6/#can-i-get-more-than-one-ipv6-address

    Tyrael

  63. On the IPv6 status page, Dallas is listed as “soon”. Is that weeks or 1-2 months, or much longer? I might migrate to a different data center depending on the timescale, but if it’s not a long time, I’d just wait it out…

  64. IPv6 works great, thanks!

    Will you be adding AAAA records for your nameservers ns{1,2,3,4,5}.linode.com sometime soon (at least those nameservers in v6-enabled datacentres)?

  65. Looking forward to IPv6 roll-out in London!

  66. Josh Altemoos, Linode has a /30, which is over 250,000 /48s or 17 billion /64s. IPv6 has a lot of features that simplify network management, but they were designed with /64 as the basic unit of allocation. The low 64 bits are intended to be used as an interface identifier. RFC 6177 recommends that even *home users* receive “significantly more than a single /64”, suggesting /56 as a nice round number.

  67. I’m not sure why there is so much complaining about receiving a /128 by default. That is the nature of sharing a network segment in IPv6. Everyone on a single network segment shares the same /64 (in the usual most simple deployment case).

    I think that designating blocks of /116 address space within the /64 subnet is a great way of providing blocks of useful addresses without growing your routing table.

    The only downside is that you as a user can’t assign an address with ::dead:beef:cafe in the low bits of your address. I’m sure we can forgive Linode for that limitation can’t we? πŸ™‚

  68. […] has recently added native IPv6 support to many of its data centers. Linode hosts the VPS that runs this blog, and it happens to reside in […]

  69. My linode is in Atlanta, and as a networking guy, I’m really interested in getting my services ipv6-ready native as soon as possible. I held off setting up a tunnel when I moved there, and now that I see that ipv6 native is on it’s way, that’s of course *much* better….

    So: Is there any ETA, or a honest reply on what the issue with Atlanta is? This is just input for me to decide whether a tunnel in the intermediate timeframe is worth it, or if we can expect ipv6 this year or some time not too far into next year?

    It’s not important per se, just nice to have, so I might hold off for a year.

  70. Re: Atlanta

    I read somewhere, maybe in a forum or something, that the wait is for the Atlanta data center to get IPv6 capability. And the reason there is no E.T.A. is because the provider of the Atlanta data center has not given an E.T.A. for IPv6 connectivity.

  71. The Atlanta data center’s status has been updated to “INTERNAL TESTING”, can’t wait!

  72. Hope to see IPv6 at London DC in Q4-2011 πŸ™‚

  73. When will Tokyo has IPv6 support?

  74. I’m looking forward to IPv6 at the Atlanta datacenter!

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