[Podcast] IPv6 fragmentation and the DNS

By on 11 Jan 2024

Category: Tech matters

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In this episode of PING, APNIC’s Chief Scientist Geoff Huston discusses the change in IP packet fragmentation behaviour adopted by IPv6 and the implications of a change in the IETF’s ‘normative language’ regarding the use of IPv6 in the DNS.

IPv6 has a proscriptive requirement that only the end hosts fragment, which limits how intermediate systems can handle IPv6 data in flight. In the DNS, increasing complexity from things like DNSSEC means that the DNS packet sizes are getting larger and larger, which risks invoking IPv6 fragmentation behaviour in UDP. This has consequences for the reliability and timeliness of the DNS service.

For this reason, a revision of IETF normative language (the use of the capitalized MUST, MAY, SHOULD, and MUST NOT) directing how IPv6 integrates into the DNS service in deployment has risks. In the latest episode of PING, Geoff argues for a ‘first, do no harm’ approach to this kind of IETF document.

Read more about IPv6, fragmentation, DNS, and Geoff’s measurements on the APNIC Blog and APNIC Labs:

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