Posts Tagged Google

99 days of freedom

I’m taking part in the “99 days of freedom”, by leaving Facebook for 99 days. I was never a big FB person anyway, this is just a convenient excuse.

I’m actually doing more (useful) things using Google+ and you can still find my #craftbeer posts at Untappd

If you’re really a FB-only person, here’s the countdown until I return 🙂

I’m just getting ready to lab some MS Server 2012 and Active Directory stuff to see how it works with IPv6, so that should begin to show up here in a few weeks.

Or how about we connect using the original “social media”, face to face? I’ll be at DEF CON next week.


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IPv6 – mainstream, yet?

Is IPv6 getting enough traction to be called mainstream, yet?  Sort of. Lots of groups are tracking world wide IPv6 adoption through various means, often looking at the percentage of web sites that are IPv6 reachable. But is this the right metric?

World IPv6 Launch Day did “prove” that IPv6 is viable and that more people are using it. But, does it matter that Romania has 8.64% adoption or that the US has 1.77%, or that France has 4.61%? How does that relate to a “real user”?  The answer of course is that it doesn’t.  I don’t (often) visit Romanian or French web sites, and the experience of Internet users in those countries is affected by the use (or lack) of IPv6 elsewhere in the world.  Facebook, Google, Twitter and others are all worldwide communities.

One way to see how (if) IPv6 adoption is affecting you is to look at which web sites that you visit every day are IPv6 capable.

I took the last 30 days of browser history from my laptop and looked at the IPv6 reachability for the sites that I actually use on a regular basis. Here are the results.

I started with the Firefox add-in “History Export 0.4” and exported my history for the past 30 days. This showed that I visited over 10,000 URLs in the recent past. This raw data was massaged by some Perl  and Emacs macros to process, sort and extract unique domain names.  Finally I used a bash script to do DNS lookups for A and AAAA records for all the unique hostnames that remained.

Here are the results:

  • 10202 URLs in 30 day history
  • 1310 unique host names (there were lots and lots and lots of Gmail URLs!)
  • 125 of the unique host names had AAAA records indicating IPv6 reachability
  • 2(!) hosts had AAAA records and no A records – IPv6 ONLY sites!  W00t!

So about 9.5% of the sites that I visited in the past 30 days are IPv6 capable.  That’s more than I had expected and more than the general Google IPv6 stats would suggest. Now, since I am doing IPv6 work I would expect to be an outlier, but am I an outlier for that reason?

Of the 125 IPv6 sites:

  • 27 are Google properties (Google, Gmail. Blogger, Google Code, Youtube, Android Market and similar)
  • 11 are IPv6 information or test sites
  • 10 are US .gov (more on this later)
  • 5 are notable open source projects (ISC Bind, ISC DHCP, Mozilla, Ubuntu, Fedora)
  • 8 are larger .EDUs like Stanford, UCLA, UCSD
  • 6 Internet governance and operations sites (IANA, IETF, Internet Society, ARIN, APNIC)
  • 6 are blogs hosted at
  • 5 of the sites are Facebook properties
  • 2 Netflix sites
  • 2 Wikipedia
  • 2 Yahoo properties
  • the rest (almost 40) are singleton sites – individually hosted blogs, news and aggregation sites (political, tech)

This means that 91% of the IPv6 sites I visit are probably typical for a “regular” Internet user. Most of the most popular properties are represented in IPv6-land: Google, Facebook, Wikipedia, NetFlix and similar.

It also shows that while individual sites are making progress (those 37 singletons), many hosted sites will get upgraded through no action of their own when their hosting provider (or cloud provider) makes the switch.  Between then, Blogger and Blogspot are now hosting thousands of personal blogs that are IPv6 capable.

Personally, I can’t wait for to make the switch.

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IPv6 – World IPv6 Launch Day is coming – June 6 2012

Last year brought us World IPv6 (test) day on June 8.  Dozens of content providers, network backbones and other technical groups came together to do a live test of IPv6 in production. Results were very good, and provided enough evidence that planning for a real, permanent cutover to full “dual stack” was practical.

However, there were enough issues that many of the participants took down their IPv6 sites after the experiment.

But this year, it’s gonna be real. June 6 2012 is World IPv6 Launch Day. The same big names and many other are participating. More importantly, some of the major providers of CPE (customer premise equipment) AKA “home routers” are committed as well.

Cisco and D-Link are committed to shipping “home equipment” with compliant IPv6 stacks and Ipv6 enabled by default by this date. Facebook, Google, Bing and Yahoo! will all permanently enable IPv6 for their main sites. In the US, AT&T, Comcast and Time-Warner will activate IPv6 for at “significant” portions of their home wireline customers.

And this time, it’s permanent. Unlike the 24 hour experiment last year, this is a permanent change. I expect that all the participants will have to shake out configuration issues and software bugs after the launch, but at least now they are committed to making IPv6 work for everyone, from now on.

The only thing that might make this better would be commitments from the operating system vendors. Apple, Microsoft and the Linux community already have known issues that will need to be addressed. Having the home router providers commit to some level of IPv6 support (firmware upgrades) for at least some currently shipping products would also be good, but I suspect they would rather sell new gear.

I’m not in any area served by any of those ISPs, so I’ll be keeping my tunnel to Hurricane Electric. But I look forward to seeing more big green 6’s in my browser bar after this summer.

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IPvFox, my favorite new plug-in

Now that I have a functioning IPv6 network, I can actually “see” how much of the public Internet (or at least web sites) are IPv6. Before I had the home net on IPv6, I was limited to just using DNS queries for AAAA records (over IPv4).

My new favorite FireFox plug-in is IPvFox, which gives me IPv6/IPv4 information right in the URL “awesome bar”.  I can tell at a glance, if the current page’s data was served over IPv6, IPv4 or mixed.

Here are a few images showing which sites/pages are loaded via IPv6, IPv4, or both.

This first one is interesting, As you can see from the image, the main page (URL) is IPv6 (big green “6”), but other parts of the page loaded via IPv4 (little red “4”). Clicking on the 6/4 image in the URL bar shows you which parts loaded which way. The main URL is IPv6, but the other parts of the page loaded over IPv4. Note that loads over IPv4.

This next one is Again the main page loads via IPv6, but the other content on the page is loaded from a combination of other sites running IPv4 and IPv6.

Here’s another IPv6 test site, This one uses IPv4 for the main site, and then pulls elements over IPv6 and IPv4.

As one of the newest of Google’s Internet properties, it is not unexpected that loads over IPv6, at least in this example. Go back and look at the first example, however, where it loaded over IPv4. Strange…. However, the “+1” system is still IPv4:

As I do my daily browsing, it’s interesting which sites come up over IPv6, and which don’t. I’m seeing more media and social sites on IPv6, and very few vendor sites. I had expected to see much more IPv6 from the big network kit vendors, but they are noticeably missing. Some of them “do” IPv6 on a separate host (, for example).

Not surprisingly, the main DREN web site is 100% IPv6.

Cisco, Juniper, IBM, Apple and Dell are all 100% IPv4. Many Mozilla sites, and a few US Government sites (Department of Education), and even Fark! are all solidly IPv6.

I wonder if the social media sites will lead the charge, or the vendors? Right now, I’m not seeing a lot of commitment from companies that I would hope have a lot more IPv6 experience.

They are going to want my company’s money for new network gear in the coming year, and I’m going to be asking hard questions about why they don’t have their own main sites running IPv6.

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