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February 28, 2011

Start getting ready for IPv6

IPv6, the Internet address protocol for the future, is among the technologies that MPE/iX will not support this year. This Version 6 of software that routes Web traffic was among those that OpenMPE was considering when it applied for its license for the MPE/iX source. It was suggested back in 2008 that a contract project might have revised the 3000's networking to accomodate the new protocol.

But native support for IPv6 networking won't matter as much as some 3000 managers expected. Although the 3000 was prepared to do DNS service, the vendor didn't build a patch in 2009 to eliminate a security hole in DNS for MPE/iX. That's bedrock technology for Internet protocols, so it would have to be made secure. Much of this kind of routing for 3000 shops takes place on external PC systems today. You can even make an older Windows XP box do IPv6, according to Paul Edwards, a former OpenMPE volunteer who's a training resource for the 3000 community.

The new networking will become much more essential to an IT operation this year. Earlier this month the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority issued the last block of IPv4 addresses. Another organization, the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN), advised that companies that do business over the Internet should support IPv6 on public-facing Web serversor  Web services by Jan. 1, 2012 or risk losing potential customers.

Edwards sent us a note this month that outlines a simple process to enable IPv6 on Windows XP -- which despite being as discontinued at Microsoft as MPE is at HP, continues to drive the majority of PCs worldwide.

You may have heard the news: the world officially runs out of IPv4 addresses this month. But never fear. IPv6 is here... well, sort of.

Many companies are converting their networks to IPv6 now,  and Windows 7 comes with built in support, but what about those who are still using Windows XP? Luckily, it’s easy to install the IPv6 protocol on your XP machine. Here’s how:

1. Click Start | Run
2. Type cmd to open the command prompt window. 
3. At the prompt, type netsh and press ENTER 
4. Type interface and press ENTER
5. Type ipv6 and press ENTER
6. Type install and press ENTER
This installs IPv6. You can confirm that’s been installed by typing, at the command prompt, ipconfig /all.

You should see an entry under your Local Area Connection that says “Link-local IPv6 Address”  and shows a hexadecimal number, separated by colons. That’s your IPv6 address.

There's a lengthy technical article about building a Linux-based lab PC to do IPv6 testing up on the InfoWorld site. That process involves installing Vyatta Core, a distro of Linux which supports IPv6 by using "a wide variety of routing protocols, including OSPF and BGP."

Edwards said he's enabled IPv6 on his XP systems, and hasn't encountered any conflicts with websites using the new protocol on XP.

01:52 PM in Hidden Value, Homesteading, Migration, Web Resources | Permalink

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