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The IPv6 Adventure Gets Underway

When my co-author for the upcoming revision to our Guide to TCP/IP  (getting ready to come out in a 4th edition) showed up at my door mid-morning today, I finally got started on the IPv6 adventure of a lifetime. Fresh from his triumphant visit to Palo Alto (where he taught three or four IPv6 Test Lab classes at Sharkfest ’11) and Fremont (where he installed a couple of racks worth of switches, routers, firewalls, and servers at Hurricane Electric aka my good buddy Jeff Carrell came bearing a fabulous Fortinet FortiGate 80C firewall/switch/router that offers extensive and well-thought out IPv6 support.

Though the Fortinet box set me back over a grand, it comes with the most serious IPv6 support I’ve seen in a boundary device that’s suitable for SMB or “geek home” use (like at my house). Jeff had painstakingly  documented his set-up routine based on working with a handful of these devices already, so I got to guinea-pig his instructions as we updated its firmware, then worked through a standard firewall set-up, followed by a set of basic IPv6 configuration and firewall rules. I did hit some minor snags along the way (mostly owing to IPv6 address typos, or misunderstanding the configuration instructions) but we were able to shoot our way through all of this trouble in under 2 hours.

We set up an IPv6 tunnel through the Tunnel Broker facility, and I can now say that my home network registers with all the important test sites as IPv6 compliant. Take a look at these results from the IPv6 connectivity test published for World IPv6 Day (held on June 8, 2011).

IPv6 is finally working on my home network (addresses munged for security reasons)

IPv6 is finally working on my home network (addresses munged for security reasons)

Now that I’ve got IPv6 up and running on this network, I can get back to work on earning Hurricane Electric’s IPv6 certification. Sage status, here I come!

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