2011-11-07

IPv6 returns to Personal Telco networks

While many still consider the next-generation Internet protocol to be a fringe technology, there's no denying it's an increasingly important step forward for data networks everywhere. The Personal Telco Project's production Internet servers have been equipped with IPv6 capabilities for some time, but nodes were long left in the dark ages of IPv4.

On World IPv6 Day, a weekly PTP meeting was held. At this point, I was just starting to get involved with the project again; when we discussed the fact that no IPv6 support existed for the majority of nodes and no such support was planned, I volunteered to find a clean solution to this problem which didn't involve a lot of extra work to deploy.

This wasn't the first time this project had been undertaken. Years earlier, when Jimmy Schmierbach and I worked together to develop the PTPnet VPN, we had included IPv6 support in the design from the beginning. Unfortunately, when we both took a break from the project, the IPv6 components of our solution fell into disuse, and were eventually removed. Despite that fact, luckily, the fundamental design of the VPN had remained unchanged, so reinstating IPv6 support wouldn't require any significant changes to the underlying network.

Armed with this knowledge, I set out to integrate IPv6 into the new node configuration generator scripts created by Russell Senior, and a couple of prototype builds later, I came up with a reasonable solution. Using a /48 prefix delegation from the Hurricane Electric Free IPv6 Tunnel Broker service to one of the core servers, and OLSR for IPv6 mesh routing, all new nodes will now be deployed with basic IPv6 capability. Existing nodes will be updated as time permits.

Pretty cool!

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