IPv4-IPv6 Transition Technology Interop at IETF 100 Hackathon in Singapore

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.

IETF 100 Hackathon, Singapore

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.

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 of 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.

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.

IPv6-IPv4 transition technology interop presentation is available here and NAT64 testing here.

My team won the “Best Input for the Scotch BoF to the universal deployment of IPv6” award.

 

Matúš Fabian

Singapore skyline

Pantheon Technologies visited TechXLR8 in Singapore

Looking for customers and partners in new markets is an essential part of portfolio diversification strategy. New markets bring new opportunities, new insights, needs and challenges. Hence, at the beginning of this October, with my colleagues Denis and Robert we travelled to Singapore in search of all of the above-mentioned. We’ve anticipated finding it all at the huge TechXLR8 event, sponsored by Pantheon Technologies, which comprised of smaller happenings: 5G Asia, IoT World Asia, NV & SDN, the AI Summit and Project Kairos Asia. Being the Silver Sponsor at such a vast event was a brand new experience for us.

Singapore skyline

We’ve spent two days discussing SDN and networking, introducing Pantheon Technologies and our products to the representatives of Asian market. We also had an opportunity to take part in a panel discussion on NFV MANO interoperability and how it fits into the open source world along with related standardization being done by ETSI.

This discussion, more than anything else, showed our presence to other attendees. So, we talked, smiled and explained. People were interested in Visibility Package which we have demonstrated. They asked a lot about the company and our contribution to OpenDaylight, as well as other open source projects we are part of, or have experience with.

 

SDN, OpenDaylight and the others

Pantheon Technologies was not the only company promoting OpenDaylight-related solutions. Official OpenDaylight members were present, as well as other companies and groups offering their ODL based solutions. We have received several offers for cooperation from several company representatives advertising their ODL and SDN-related skills. This clearly indicates the importance of the OpenDaylight project.

IoT is the word

Despite TechXLR8 being crowded with companies presenting different IoT solutions and despite having our booth placed at NFV/SDN area, we have received a great number of IoT-related questions. We talked about IotDM as of oneM2m compliant data broker for ODL. For some people, oneM2M was just another buzzword. They were frequently asking about specific use cases related to the IoT field. Our question, “what do you need?” still hangs there waiting to be answered. Asia seems to be searching for its answer on what IoT stands for. There are open opportunities for us to help finding an answer for this question.

 

Man in the middle

Along all the companies presenting their products, skills or ecosystems, there was one special group of people present. They usually introduced themselves as “the company that represents telco in Asia.” Who were these people?

Asian markets are quite different from what we have experienced so far, in a way how companies search for partners and how partnerships are being built. There are many companies acting as matchmakers. It seems that a significant number of telco companies doesn’t actively search for partners, but rely on matchmakers. Matchmakers actively seek solutions or vendors who might match their telco customers. What do matchmakers have to say about their customer’s expectations?

Singapore conference - people mingling

All of them had pretty much the same answer. We need to approach companies with our solutions and make them think it is what they need. As if only thing market is looking for was advantage over competitors. Whatever solution will make that happen. Even that we can’t honestly say there is a market driving vision missing, it for sure feels that way. Presence of buzzwords without focus on specific case indicates that Asian telco and IT market has evolved differently as markets we use to operate.

 

Hic abundant leones

The best way to describe our first encounter with the Asian market is mapping terra incognita, the unknown land, place where lions are. We’ve made the first step towards the unknown and have found some potential partners on the way. Now we have to figure out how to turn the first contact into a working partnership and collaboration. We need to find a specific use case, or set of use cases, to show to potential customers in Asia, but we aren’t quite sure what to show and whom to show it. Finding that out is our next goal. Find use case to make a showcase of and find audience for it. For that, we need to flood the matchmakers we already know and also keep looking for new ones.

Singapore event - building Pantheon stall

Lesson learned

Are our solutions tailored to fulfill specific needs? Indeed they are. Do our solutions bring variety and scalability? Definitely. Can we deliver? Yes we can. Next time, we have to show that more explicitly. We need to prepare showcases that would amaze people. We need to find equilibrium between our skill and the market’s desire for buzzwords. It does not need to be product quality, does not even need to be a product by itself. It just needs to show – hey, we are the right ones.

Was our journey a success? Our journey to Singapore was a success. Journey to Asian markets has just begun. It is our job to make the most out of it.

Martin Bobák

Technical leader

blog - Singapore Tech XLR8 Asia 600x373 px

Pantheon partners up with TechXLR8 Asia

We’ve already started establishing a tradition of Pantheon Technologies partnering with the best tech events around the globe. To keep up with it, we’ll be sponsoring the Network Virtualization & SDN Asia conference, which will be taking place this fall in Singapore as a part of TechXLR8 Asia. On board with partners such as Juniper Networks, Fujitsu and VMware, we’ll be joining as a silver sponsor.

 

Singapore Marina Bay Sands hotel

What does this mean in practice? Our colleagues will be able to showcase the Pantheon skills and know-how both as speakers and in the exhibition area.

As we were recently proven at TechXLR8 London, our portfolio is quite unique. The topics revolving around ODL, SysRepo, FD.io, Honeycomb and Vector Packet Processing have struck the cord. Not only that we’ve met lots of interesting people from telco, SDN and content delivery companies, but our business card supply wasn’t able to cover the demand!

Is there anything specific you’d like to hear us talk about?

See you in Singapore on October 3-4!

Martin Firak