No IPv6 in 2021? Not acceptable.

Posted on 2021-01-09 by Nico Schottelius

It's 2021 and it's time to stop using legacy IP (IPv4) only services. In 2020 we have already seen quite a rise in IPv6 connectivity, as well as more and more services emerging IPv6 only.

The IPv6 community is very active

The IPv6 community has reported many bugs to products like Steam from Valve, Dockerhub and so many more that it was not possible for me to list them all in this article.

As a matter of fact, websites or services that have degraded or non-existing IPv6 connectivity are reported daily on Twitter.

Time to move on

As I can see it from the work at ungleich, 2020 was a very active year when it comes to IPv6. But at some point, services that don't work with IPv6 are simply not worth caring about anymore.

While IPv6 has been defined in 1998, it is clear that vendors and providers need some time to adapt. But 23 years should have been more than enough to migrate.

For this reason we want to encourage everyone in 2021 to move on, to cut off the old legacy IP applications, services or hardware.

How to move on?

There are a variety of things everyone of us can do and we have collected some easy to take steps.

Setup networks IPv6 only

For every new network you setup, set it up with IPv6 only. All current mobile phones, tablets and operating systems work in IPv6 only networks.

Setup services and applications IPv6 only

If you are an application developer, I suggest to develop your application with IPv6 first. And if you setup a new service, configure IPv6 first and maybe only.

It's important to understand that setting up something IPv6 only, does not mean it will be unreachable from the legacy IP Internet. NAT64 is one easy to use technology to solve this problem.

Abandon legacy only

Whether it's network hardware, applications, Internet providers, hosting providers - stop using them if they don't work in IPv6 only environments. And let the everyone know that you did so.

While I am not a fan of shaming anyone, it is still important to let vendors know that you have moved on because of the lack of IPv6. Otherwise the vendor does not know why they are losing customers. When you communicate that you abandon a product or service because of lacking proper IPv6 support, I recommend to doing so in a clear, but respectful way.

Advocate IPv6 only

To be able to spot bugs and to make life for network operators easier, I strongly recommend going IPv6 only. Not dualstack, but simply IPv6 only. If you deploy NAT64 in IPv6 only networks, you can even create reachability in both directions.

Many of us network operators, developers and sysadmins are very good in implementing things. However, it is important to share the word.

Help each other

For about 2 years there is an open, community driven IPv6 Chat. In this chat you can ask others for help, ask which alternative products or services to use. Or how to migrate to IPv6 only networks. There is also an IPv6 reddit and an IPv6 group on Facebook. Many of the RIRs (RIPE, APNIC, Afrinic, LACNIC and ARIN) also offer IPv6 training resources.

Migrating to IPv6 is not difficult and there is a community to help you with it.

Let's do it, together.