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DNS over IPv6 — Welcome to the World of Today

Over the course of the past month, Dyn Inc. has been enabling DNS delivery over IPv6 on the nameservers that handle our DynDNS.com Dynamic DNS, Custom DNS, and Secondary DNS services. As of Wednesday, 22-Sep-2010, the process was completed, with the five dyndns.org and the five mydyndns.org nameservers all being accessible via IPv6 and answering queries, with AAAA records added to their hostnames.

So what is all this IPv6 stuff anyway?

IP, the Internet Protocol, is the networking protocol used on the Internet to identify systems and address the data exchanged between them. Currently the majority of the Internet runs on IP version 4, and has since the early 1980’s. The problem we’re running into though, is a lack of address space. IPv4 uses 32-bit long addresses, allowing for 4,294,967,296 addresses. This seems like a lot, but current projections expect us to run out of addresses sometime in 2012.

The solution to the address space problem is a new version of the Internet Protocol. Work on IPv6 was started in the late 1990’s, when the growth of the Internet started to get people concerned that 32-bits wouldn’t be enough forever. IPv6, in addition to some other changes, makes use of 128-bit addressing, which allows for 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 addresses, which should last us for a while (and we mean it this time.)

Practically speaking though, this makes DNS more important than ever. Eventually, short IPv4 addresses (216.146.45.243) will be getting replaced by longer IPv6 addresses (2607:f590:1dea:13:21f:f3ff:fed5:ec60) which I don’t think anyone is expected to be able to remember. Just as DNS maps names to IPv4 addresses using A records, it can maps names to IPv6 addresses using AAAA records.

What does all this mean to our customers?

Your DNS is ready for the future. With the changes we’ve made, it is possible for an IPv6-only host today to resolve any domain hosted with DynDNS.com. We’re even seeing this happening today, with IPv6 queries coming in as soon as we enabled it.

How about some graphs?

Sure, everybody loves graphs!

Here’s one from our mydyndns.org nameservers, showing the percentage of queries currently being asked over IPv6. This is only a view from that server set, but it’s representative of our entire network, which has been seeing a pretty consistent 1% of DNS queries coming in over IPv6.

In contrast, about 7% of all queries are for AAAA records, which seems to indicate that more IPv6 aware machines are out there than there are IPv6 connected DNS resolvers.


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