IPv6 and MacOS X Lion – “Hampered Eyeballs”

As part of the IPv6 sprint at work last month, I ended up doing a lot of IPv6 research. For my part, I spent a lot of time researching “customer issues” and MacOS issues in addition to the purely technical work.

When I started the sprint, my laptop was on MacOS X Snow Leopard, which I used for all my home IPv6 work. Halfway through the sprint, I upgraded to MacOS X Lion.

The upgrade to Lion went well, but Apple has changed the behavior of some IPv6 features, and I personally would have to consider Snow Leopard as a better IPv6 platform than Lion.

Apple didn’t “break” IPv6 in Lion, but they did introduce a new problem, which has been dubbed “hampered eyeballs”.

https://labs.ripe.net/Members/emileaben/hampered-eyeballs

I’ve noticed some newly-hampered IPv6 web browsing since the upgrade.  Some sites that came back solidly on IPv6 100% of the time, now come back as IPv4 up to 20% of the time. (Thanks IPvFox!)

This has lots of implications for how consumers will see the new Internet, especially during the transition.  According to some anecdotal remarks on some IPv6 mailing lists, this is being used as an excuse by some companies to delay (even more) any IPv6 transition or even dual stacking!

This last week was Game Developer Conference in San Francisco, next week is a global IPv6 meeting in New Jersey. I should have lots more “corporate” IPv6 info on the next 10 days.

 

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