HAProxy for IPv6 translation to IPv4-only website

Background:
Have you heard of World IPv6 Day? On June 8 2011, a lot of very prominent web sites, like Google, Facebook, Yahoo and many more, are going to host their web site on dual stack for the day. They do this by publishing a AAAA DNS record, that’s an IPv6 address in DNS, so their site will resolve and be available on both IPv4 and IPv6 simultaneously. In other words, if you type in www.google.com on June 8 2011 and your computer can reach the IPv6 Internet, then your browser will fetch the AAAA record and connect to google’s site via IPv6, instead of IPv4. If you don’t have IPv6, you’ll just connect the same old way you do today. Either way, it’s going to be rather transparent to the end user, unless these sites flash something to users to say “HEY, YOU CONNECTED OVER IPv6″.

Challenge:
So, thinking about any web site out there that currently lives on IPv4, how can we make it dual stack, without owning or touching the existing servers? Answer: with a proxy. We want this proxy to be a separate machine, anywhere on the Internet, that already has dual stack hosting.

The dedicated, dual stacked proxy server will listen on an IPv6 IP address and forward that traffic to an IPv4 address. Can this be done reliably for a web site for World IPv6 Day. I think yes, it can. For one, the percentage of Internet traffic that’ll come over IPv6, even on this day, is only about 1% to 5%. So, as long as this proxy server can handle 5% of your normal load, it’ll work.

You can use HAProxy, available at http://haproxy.1wt.eu/, to turn your Linux or Solaris based dedicated (or virtual dedicated) server into an IPv6 translation proxy! And, it’ll work for both HTTP and HTTPS.

You don’t need to load the HTTPS ssl cert, either. HAProxy can TCP proxy, instead of HTTP proxy, so the end user will be talking directly to the server. The only caveot to this is that all traffic from your proxy will appear to the server as coming from the proxy ipv4 ip. You’ll lose all visibility of src ip.

Read on to see the proof of concept, this in action:

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Cox Communication (NOT) using IPv6 transition mechanism 6to4 Relay anycast prefix

This is how Cox is providing us with IPv6 today.

(2/16 UPDATE – I WAS WRONG, MORE DETAILS OF CORRECTION AT BOTTOM OF POST. I AM GETTING IPV6 THROUGH 6TO4 ANYCAST RELAY, BUT NOT PROVIDED BY COX. THIS ARTICLE IS STILL VALID, JUST THAT IT’S NOT COX SUPPLYING IT)

http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3068.txt

Check the comments out on this:
http://whois.arin.net/rest/net/NET-192-88-99-0-1

And what happens when I traceroute to 192.88.99.1 from home:

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The end of the Internet is near

Well, maybe not the end of the Internet, but the end of the IP Address space, as we know it, is near. You know, IP addresses are the 4 blocks of number separated by periods, i.e. 10.0.0.1; well, there are only 4 billion of them. Sometime next year, 2012, Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) will have no more IP addresses to give to the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs). About a year after that, the RIRs will have no more to give out to Internet Service Providers (ISPs), such as Cox Communication and Go Daddy.

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How many people already have IPv6 connectivity?

We need to give a lot of thanks to Eric Vyncke for this fine innovation….

 

Put a 1-pixel image on your web site that lives on an IPv4/IPv6 dual stack host. This 1-pixel image is actually a PHP script that uses a special trick to figure out if the client has IPv6, whether it’s coming from a teredo tunnel, v4 or v6 preferred, and correlates it with OS and Browser.

 

It’ll be very interesting to see how the tides change as we near the feared IPv4 depletion date, which as of today is predicted to be Sept 2011.

 

You can put the 1-pixel image on your site and let your site’s traffic help feed the data.

 

Here are Eric’s stats:
http://www.vyncke.org/countv6/stats.php

 

Here are my stats:
http://ipv6poc.com/countv6/stats.php

 

I put these 1-pixel images at the footer of my blog pages:

<img src="http://ipv6poc.com/countv6/image4.php" width="1" height="1" border="none">
<img src="http://www.vyncke.org/countv6/image4.php" width="1" height="1" border="none">

 

If you want your site to feed this experiment, just drop the above two images just before the </body> tag on your site.

 

If your site gets more than 25,000 page hits a day, please reach out before putting these images on your site.

 

Oh, and you can get the source code for this here: http://sourceforge.net/projects/countv6/

 

To answer the question, here are the percentages of people that visit Eric’s site that have v6 over the last 2 years:

 

 

Interesting that it’s above 10%. It was on an upward trend till about Oct 2009, then took a sudden dive.

 

DaveK.