IT professionals must regularly reexamine emerging technology to keep their networks updated and secure in light of constantly evolving challenges, opportunities, and threats. While the IETF finalizes and releases new standards and technologies, there has traditionally been no formal guidelines or assistance to encourage the global operations community to deploy those standards.
The Internet Society Deploy360 Programme is a new initiative that supports the deployment and use of key Internet technologies by bridging the gap between IETF standards documentation and final adoption of those standards by the global operations community. Deploy360 provides real-world IPv6, DNSSEC, etc. deployment information including detailed, technical how-to resources and educational articles, best current operational practices, case studies, and other in-depth information. Many pieces will be translated into multiple languages.
Deploy360 activities include:
- Working with ‘first adopters’ to collect and create technical resources on new and emerging technologies including IPv6 and DNSSEC
- Providing these resources to network engineers responsible for implementing new technologies in the operations centers of ‘fast following’ networks
- Maintaining a knowledge base of technical and educational articles and guidelines and best current operational practices
- Conducting ION Conferences to bring together network engineers and leading industry experts
- Speaking and exhibits at numerous conferences and events around the globe
- Maintaining social media and public relations campaigns to promote key Internet technologies
IPv6 is the next generation Internet Protocol (IP) address standard intended to supplement and eventually replace IPv4, the protocol most Internet services use today. Major Internet industry players need to take action to ensure a successful transition. For example:
- Internet service providers need to make IPv6 connectivity available to their users
- Web companies need to offer their services over IPv6
- Operating system makers may need to implement specific software updates
- Backbone providers may need to establish IPv6 peering with each other
- Hardware and home gateway manufacturers may need to update firmware
While the technical foundations of IPv6 are well established, significant work remains to deploy IPv6 across global networks.
Few technologies are more critical to the operation of the Internet than the Domain Name System (DNS), which translates the domain names humans can remember (like www.internetsociety.org) into the IP addresses computers use to identify each other (like 126.96.36.199). The DNS protocol was originally designed without any security, which was not unusual for protocols designed in the early 1980s. However, without many formal security mechanisms, the DNS has been vulnerable to spoofing and other malicious attacks.
In simple terms, DNS Security (DNSSEC) is designed to authenticate DNS response data. It verifies responses to ensure a DNS server’s response is what the zone administrator intended. It does not address all threats (nothing does), but it provides a building block for providing additional data security, and not just within the DNS but also within the applications and services that are built on it.
Nearly 15 years after discussions began, DNSSEC is slowly gaining momentum. However, there is still much work to be done.
As the Internet grows and evolves, new standards and technologies will emerge and priorities may shift. Deploy360 will consider other issues that Internet Society members consider high priority and that would benefit from broader understanding within target communities, including topics like RPKI. Deploy360 staff members will monitor key Internet technologies and IETF processes and feature them in programs as they are finalized.
Would you like to get involved? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know how we can help you, including what topics you’d like to learn more about and what topics you’re an expert in that you’d like to share with others.