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Better Living Through IPV6

I seem to have found a use for IPV6: better automated tunnel and NAT traversal management. It all started when my mail server ate its disk. I've decided to replace it and I think it likely I'll replace it with a xen box. All too often I've wished to to set up a wiki, or some other web service that is reasonably stable. Running it on the colo box would be fine except for the security issues. Also, xen would provide better staging for upgrades, etc. And besides, the less I have to let go with both hands for a colo box, the better. But the networking for xen is a bitch. The ideal solution would be to allocate global IPV4 addresses for each virtual machine. I might be able to get away with that provided that I did a bunch of ugly routing tricks and provided that I never had several people over to my apartment needing IP addresses. The obvious thing to do would be to assign private-use IP addresses to the xen domains. Thinking about this though, it makes managing them hard. I cannot ssh from outside the xen environment to one of the domains. I could of course play evil NAT tricks, but getting Kerberos and other things like that working would be challenging. I could tunnel that net 10 to my laptop wherever I am and back to my apartment. Hmm, what's a good way of setting up the tunnel. Ugh, that's going to be a messy.

You know, if I were using IPV6 I'd have all the addresses I need, or so I'm told. You know, I actually could do that. I could have a 6-to-4 address on the colo box and assign a subnet to the xen domains. I could destination-NAT through ports for the IPV4 external services like web and mail. But for management I could connect using the domain 0 as a IPV6 router for 6-to-4. Each VM would get its own IPV6 address on a 6-to-4 subnet behind domain 0. Using teredo or 6-to-4 I could guarantee that my laptop always had a useful IPV6 address, even behind a NAT. I could similarly set up 6-to-4 at my apartment so that I could easily connect to management interfaces from there.

I've done most of the work to support this. In particular, I wrote scripts to easily manage 6-to-4 on Linux. I have two prefixes at home. The first is based on the inner tunnel address of my home router. That's nice and stable, but the problem with using that prefix is that traffic goes over the tunnel. So, I created another prefix based on my comcast address. That's somewhat stable as Comcast doesn't renumber often, but not stable enough I want to put it in DNS. It does use moderately efficient routing at least for talking to other 6-to-4 nodes. I mark the stable prefix as not preferred, so that the source selection algorithm will prefer other addresses, but it will still be available for inbound connections.



We should talk about this and related topics in person sometime; I desperately need to upgrade my mail server and will be putting a new machine in colo -- clever things like virtualization should be done at that point.

I've been meaning to do this for months, but the spam is getting critical now so I think I will before the end of February.

Stable IPv6 connectivity

Hi Sam,

I was googling a bit around and then found ljseek.com and of course typed IPv6 to see what it turned up which resulted in amongst others your message.

If you want IPv6 connectivity, don't hesitate to send me an mail (jeroen@unfix.org) or to contact me in another way and I sure that we can set something up using the SixXS PoPs that are present in the US and thus providing a stable IPv6 address and connectivity for your needs. Website is mostly readable in w3m/lynx but it is a lot of text, thus just yell.

As you say you have a dynamic IPv4 address, there is a very simple solution for that which we use with SixXS called Heartbeat (draft-massar-v6ops-heartbeat-01 currently still in RFC queue, but with some luck it mind up becoming a real RFC soon :) which automatically updates the tunnel endpoint. Crossing NAT's can be done using AYIYA which accidentally also passes through most firewalls ;)




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