The IETF 100 Hackathon wrapped up several weeks ago in steamy Singapore. Over two hundred participants spent the weekend on November 11th – 12th discussing, collaborating and developing sample code, solutions and ideas that show practical implementations of IETF standards. The theme was IPv4-IPv6 Transition Technology Interop. We, at PANTHEON.tech, had to be part of it.
Our idea and testing
If you have never seen this YouTube video on IPv6, you really should.
It goes on between two characters, one of whom is an IPv6 proponent while the other one really admires NATs: and that was our team. We wanted to test, if the “new” Internet would run on IPv6 plus NAT64, or whether we can keep the “old” Internet working forever through the IPv4 address sharing mechanisms.
The room started to fill quickly after the doors opened. We displayed a poster that introduced the project and after a brief kick-off presentation got to work. Our table, full of power outlets, switches, gateways, routers and patch cables, attracted the most interest among the hackathon participants.
Testing and findings
The hackathon was the first opportunity for interop testing of VPP DS-Lite AFTR as well as NAT64 and LW46. We also spent the weekend implementing the VPP DHCPv6 PD client, Stun library DNS64 NAT64 discovery / IPv4 literal synthesizer. We also tried testing applications behind DS-Lite, 464 XLAT and NAT64.
We’ve made a few interesting findings. On the iPhone, the ecosystem which is forcing IPv6-only support, almost everything works. On the laptop, most stuff works. We learned that building these networks is very hard! I mean, we thought IPv6 should just be plug and play. These IPv6 addresses are long to type and synthesizing IPv6 address from NAT64 prefixes was a poor idea, but at least we fixed a buffer overflow bug. Media still works point-to-point, even behind multiple NATs.
Results & future of IPv6
We think the future should really be IPv6 plus NAT64, but this puts new requirements on IPv6 hosts. They need to be able to do NAT64 prefix discovery, synthesize IPv6 address from IPv4 literal and have to support local DNS64.
Our work continued on Sunday until 2pm when we stop doing whatever we were doing and the sharing of results begins. Presentation, no longer than 3 minutes, recapping results, lessons learned and recommendations. The video from presentations and awards is available on YouTube.
Our team won the “Best Input for the Scotch BoF to the universal deployment of IPv6” award.