IPv6 Best Current Operational Practices

By on 17 Jan 2018

Category: Tech matters

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Since 2010, Deploy360 has been developing a series of IPv6 technical Best Current Operational Practice (BCOP) documents that attempt to encapsulate best practices as agreed by experts in their fields, and reviewed by the global networking community.

The first IPv6 BCOP document was the popular RIPE-501 — superseded by the even more popular RIPE-554 — which discusses how to specify IPv6 functionality and compliance when ordering ICT equipment.

The next most common issue that we heard about was that helpdesks of network operators would melt down if they deployed IPv6 to their end customers as they don’t know anything about IPv6. So we built an online tool and wrote some helpdesk procedures on how to troubleshoot IPv6 issues when users call them — resulting in another useful document that was published as RIPE-631.

After addressing this, we then repeatedly heard questions about what size of IPv6 prefixes should be given to end users and should it be assigned statically or dynamically. To answer this, we put together a team of experienced co-authors from the Internet community (as with all BCOP documents) and after a year of hard work incorporating all comments and suggestions, we achieved community consensus and published this as RIPE-690 on 16 October 2017.

It’s worth noting that the same process of getting wide consensus from the Internet community was used (and will be used) for all BCOP documents.

While still working on the RIPE-690 draft, we continued to listen to the Internet community to understand other issues they had with deploying IPv6. Another issue that many people were facing was running incoming email servers on IPv6 as there are no IP reputation (black listing) mechanisms to protect from spam coming in from the Internet.

We thought this was relevant enough to again ask for experienced volunteers from the Internet community to start documenting some best current operational practices in this area. We signed up Sander Steffann, Jordi Palet Martinez, Nasser Heidari, Aaron Hughes and myself (Jan Žorž) as initial authors, and are also working in cooperation with the M3AAWG community and the Latin America & Caribbean BCOP Task Force through their co-chairs Ariel Weher and Luis Balbinot.

The call for volunteers is always open: if you are an experienced system or network operator who’s running your email server on IPv6, and are successfully detecting and blocking spam along with other email attacks, please send an email to zorz@isoc.org to contribute to this new BCOP document. It’ll be a lot of work before we reach consensus, but this just means the advice we provide will be effective and useful for operational setups.

We’re just starting to put together this BCOP document and we’re planning to publicly share it when there’s something substantive to review.

Original post appeared on the Internet Society Blog.

Jan Žorž works for the Internet Society (ISOC) and is an IPv6 specialist.

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