home IPv6 – requirements

I’ve made a few posts about my minor home IPv6 successes, and they’ve generated a some questions.

Before I get into details about the setup itself, I want to mention some of the requirements. My requirements are probably not typical for someone who has been a sysadmin as long as I have, and that probably requires some explanation.

In addition to being my family’s home network, this is also a possible “reference implementation” for future “work from home” users at my company. We may not need to support home users on IPv6 in the near future, but it will come. They will be connecting to us via VPNs just as they do today, but with the IPv6 twist. The “reference implementation” requirement has all kinds of implications for what hardware and software I can use.

Here are my requirements:

  1. Stable, production quality. Not experimental. I’ll be using this as a client network to test our upcoming IPv6 deployment at work (which will include VPNs, public facing services, etc) , and I want to spend any needed time debugging the work environment (which may be very complex), not my home network, which should be simple. This is my family’s network, and it has uptime requirements 🙂
  2. Stable, readily available components for hardware and software. No bleeding-edge Linux versions, no Windows registry hacks, no custom-built or non-vendor supported router software. I have used and applaud the DDWRT and similar efforts, but I need something more mainstream.
  3. Consumer-grade networking gear. I have access to commercial kit from Cisco, Juniper, etc from work, but that’s not our target for mainstream home deployment. If you can’t buy it at Fry’s or Amazon (or maybe NewEgg) for around $100 (maybe up to $200?), then it’s not the right product.
  4. Suitable for deployment by a relatively savvy home user, but doesn’t require a system or network admin. This is a sample deployment that we may want to have our employees replicate; while there are sysadmins, programmers and the like, there are also artists and business/financial/HR people who shouldn’t need to load custom router firmware, or significantly change their home PC (or Mac) to successfully connect to us.
  5. No support required from the IT department for the home user, beyond a setup guide or two. No (or extremely little) ongoing maintenance required by the home user. More importantly, little or no support for the home network from me, since my family uses the home net for school, business and personal things.
  6. Target clients are relatively modern: Windows 7, Mac OS 10.6 (Leopard) or newer, Ubuntu 11, Centos/RedHat 6 (maybe 5?). No legacy support.
  7. Dual stack: no 6to4 or 4to6, no tunnels. Deploying this must NOT break existing networks, including home printers, consumer NAS, etc.

I think I’ve met those requirements with my home deployment, for the most part. I’ve found a few places where IPv6 support in mainstream OSes is still a little lacking, and I’ll write about those in the future…

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