IPv6 21 March 2017

Rough Guide to IETF 98: All About IPv6

By Kevin MeynellFormer Senior Manager, Technical and Operational Engagement

In this post for the Internet Society Rough Guide to IETF 98, I’m reviewing what’s happening related to IPv6 at IETF 98 in Chicago next week.

IPv6 global adoption rates increased by over 50% last year as pools of IPv4 addresses approached depletion at 4 of the 5 Regional Internet Registries, encouraging more network operators and content providers to actively deploy the protocol. With more large ISPs and mobile operators having announced plans to deploy IPv6 during 2017, and increasing interest in Home Networking and the Internet of Things, IPv6 is at the forefront of standardisation work at the IETF.

The Homenet (homenet) Working Group develops protocols for residential networks based on IPv6 and is a group with a lot of interest. They will meet on Monday morning and have one new draft up for discussion on a name resolution and service discovery architecture for homenets (https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-tldm-simple-homenet-naming-00). Associating domain names with hosts is a key factor in enabling communication with hosts, particularly for service discovery, and needs to occur without user intervention and on different network topologies.

There are also three updated drafts being discussed, including two that are under evaluation by the Area Director. The first of these proposes an update to RFC 7788 which defines the Home Networking Control Protocol (HNCP) specification, in order to eliminate the recommendation to use .home as the default top-level name for local name resolution (draft-ietf-homenet-redact-03) as this was never registered by IANA in the Special-Use Domain Names Registry and there is evidence that it is already informally used by some sites on the Internet. The second draft defines .homenet as a special use top-level domain to replace .home (https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-ietf-homenet-dot-03). The last of the three drafts (https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-ietf-homenet-babel-profile-01) relates to how the Babel routing protocol can be used in conjunction with HNCP protocol in a Homenet scenario.

The Distributed Mobility Management (dmm) Working Group works on solutions that allow traffic to/from mobile nodes to take optimal routes. Whilst this is running at the same time as Homenet on Monday morning, there are two IPv6-related items on the agenda. Firstly, a draft describing an extension to the DHCPv6 protocol to enable mobile hosts to indicate the required services it wishes to receive from a network (https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-moses-dmm-dhcp-ondemand-mobility-05), especially when moving between locations with different points of attachment to the Internet. This will be followed by a discussion on whether there is interest in investigating on-demand mobility extensions for ICMPv6 router advertisement messages.

On Tuesday, it’s mainly just the IPv6 over the TSCH mode of IEEE 802.15.4e (6TiSCH) Working Group in the morning. TSCH is the emerging standard for automation and control over low-power and lossy wireless networks, and this group is working on how to use IPv6 in industrial standards. There will be further discussions on the draft that describes the architecture for running IPv6 over TSCH networks (https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-ietf-6tisch-architecture-11), two drafts related to the 6top protocol that enables distributed scheduling (https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-ietf-6tisch-6top-protocol-03 and https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-ietf-6tisch-6top-sf0-03), as well as four drafts related to security functionality. Rounding off the session is an update on IEEE 802.15.4e developments, and introduction of a draft describing a joint scheduling architecture for deterministic industrial field and backhaul networks (https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-wang-detnet-backhaul-architecture-00).

On Tuesday evening though, a draft on operational security considerations for IPv6 networks draft will be discussed in the Operational Security Capabilities for IP Network Infrastructure (v6ops) Working Group. IPv6 presents some new security challenges, but this draft analyses the operational security issues for enterprises, service providers and residential users and proposes practical mitigation techniques (https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-ietf-opsec-v6-10).

Wednesday is a busy day kicked off by the IPv6 over Networks of Resource Constrained Nodes (6lo) Working Group. 6lo focuses on facilitating IPv6 connectivity over node networks with limited power, memory and processing resources, and again has a busy agenda. There are three drafts related to Neighbour Discovery on IPv6 over Low-Power Wireless Personal Area Networks (6LoWPANs), one on running IPv6 over Bluetooth Low Energy Mesh Networks (https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-gomez-6lo-blemesh-02), one on the use of IPv6 in Near Field Communication where portable devices are brought into close proximity with each other (https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-ietf-6lo-nfc-06), one on transmitting IPv6 over electrical power lines (https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-hou-6lo-plc-00), and another two drafts dealing with packet fragmentation and expiration issues (https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-thubert-6lo-forwarding-fragments-04 and https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-lijo-6lo-expiration-time-01). Last, but not least, a further draft describes the use cases for IPv6 over constrained node networks and describes practical deployment scenarios (https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-ietf-6lo-use-cases-01).

The IPv6 Operations (v6ops) Working Group meets on Wednesday afternoon and has just three drafts primarily up for discussion. Requirements for IPv6 routers aims to learn the lessons of operating large scale networks on IPv4, and formulate a set of requirements for routers, switches, and middleboxes deployed in IPv6 networks to enable more effective deployment (https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-ali-ipv6rtr-reqs-02). Basic requirements for IPv6 Customer Edge routers focuses on some baseline requirements for provisioning these classes of routers, the IPv6 hosts attached to them, and the transition technologies required when IPv4 is no longer available (https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-palet-v6ops-rfc7084-bis-01). Finally, there’s a draft dealing with the scenario whereby different IPv6 implementations have limited support for SLAAC and/or DHCPv6, and recommends that all hosts implement RFC 6105 (DNS options for SLAAC) and the stateless DHCPv6 functionality in RFC 3315 (https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-gont-v6ops-host-configuration-01).

Time permitting, there may also be an update on Happy Eyeballs that aims to reduce user-visible delays on dual-stack networks (https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-pauly-v6ops-happy-eyeballs-update-01), and on Provisioning Domains (PvDs) that allow hosts to retrieve configuration information for accessing the Internet; usually via URL (https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-bruneau-pvd-00).

Meeting in parallel with v6ops is the IPv6 over Low Power Wide-Area Networks (lpwan) Working Group that’s working on enabling IPv6 connectivity with very low wireless transmission rates between battery-powered devices spread across multiple kilometres. There are five drafts under discussion, but there will also be an update on the IEEE 802.15.LPWA Interest Group activities, as well as a discussion on future work items.

The IPv6 Maintenance (6man) Working Group meets on Thursday morning and will present the last call on updates to the IPv6 specification as currently defined in RFC 2460, RFC 4291, and RFC 1981. There are also two new drafts under discussion related to recommendations on IPv6 address usage (https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-gont-6man-address-usage-recommendations) and temporary IPv6 interface identifiers (https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-gont-6man-non-stable-iids-01), plus a draft describing how a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Open Threat Signaling (DOTS) client can send a message over a congested network by tagging outgoing IPv6 packets in order to reach a DOTS server (https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-francois-dots-ipv6-signal-option-01).

Three current drafts on the agenda include a description of common functionality that should be required on all IPv6 hosts and routers, collected from other published IETF Standards Track documents (https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-clw-rfc6434-bis-01), definition of a new control bit in an IPv6 router advertisement indicating that a receiving node is the exclusive receiver of all traffic destined to any address with that prefix (https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-pioxfolks-6man-pio-exclusive-bit-01), and providing a backward-compatible extension to the Redirect function in the IPv6 Neighbour Discovery protocol to allow routers to include information that a recipient can associate with the next hop (https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-templin-6man-rio-redirect-01).

Finally, there are three DHCPv6 related drafts in the Dynamic Host Configuration (dhc) Working Group that round-off the Thursday as well as the week IPv6-wise.

At the Internet Society, we continue to promote IPv6 deployment. You can check out the World IPv6 Launch measurements for our latest measurements of IPv6 around the globe: http://www.worldipv6launch.org/measurements

You can also check out the Deploy360 online resources for getting started with IPv6 deployment:

And you can read more about other topics of interest to the technology programs of the Internet Society in the rest of our Rough Guide to IETF 98 posts.

IPv6-related Working Groups at IETF 98:

Homenet (Home Networking) WG
Monday, 27 March 2017 0900-1130 UTC-6, Zurich D
Documents: https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/homenet/documents/
Charter: https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/homenet/charter/

DMM (Distributed Mobility Manager) WG
Monday, 27 March 2017 0900-1130 UTC-6, Montreux 3
Documents: https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/dmm/documents/
Charter: https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/dmm/charter/

T2TRG (Thing-to-Thing) WG
Monday, 27 March 2017 1300-1500 UTC-6, Vevey 1/2
Documents: https://datatracker.ietf.org/group/t2trg/documents/
Charter: https://datatracker.ietf.org/group/t2trg/charter/

6TISCH (IPv6 over the TSCH mode of IEEE 802.15.4e)
Tuesday, 28 March 2017 0900-1130 UTC-6, Zurich C
Agenda: https://datatracker.ietf.org/meeting/98/agenda/6tisch/
Documents: https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/6tisch/documents/
Charter: https://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/charter-ietf-6tisch/

V6OPS (IPv6 Operations) Working Group
Tuesday, 28 March 2017 1640-1840 UTC-6, Zurich A
Documents: https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/v6ops/documents/
Charter: https://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/charter-ietf-v6ops/

6LO (IPv6 over Networks of Resource Constrained Nodes) WG
Wednesday, 29 March 2017 0900-1130 UTC-6, Zurich A
Agenda: https://datatracker.ietf.org/meeting/98/agenda/6lo/
Documents: https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/6lo/documents/
Charter: https://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/charter-ietf-6lo/

V6OPS (IPv6 Operations) WG
Wednesday, 29 March 2017 1300-1500 UTC-6, Zurich A
Documents: https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/v6ops/documents/
Charter: https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/v6ops/charter/

LPWAN (IPv6 over Low Power Wide-Area Networks)
Wednesday, 29 March 2017 1300-1500 UTC-6, Zurich C
Documents: https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/lpwan/documents/
Charter: https://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/charter-ietf-lpwan/

6MAN (IPv6 Maintenance ) WG
Thursday, 30 March 0930-1130 UTC-6, Zurich D
Agenda: https://datatracker.ietf.org/meeting/98/agenda/6man/
Documents: https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/6man/documents/
Charter: https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/6man/charter/

DHC (Dynamic Host Configuration) WG
Thursday, 30 March 1740-1840 UTC-6, Montreux 3
Documents: https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/dhc/documents/
Charter: https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/dhc/charter/

Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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