Wednesday, March 3, 2010

ipv6.aprs.fi, and receiver detection tuning (again)

After working on some Other Stuff for about a month, I did a little upgrade for aprs.fi.

I fixed receiver detection for packets with a path like DIGI1*,WIDE1*,DIGI2*,WIDE2* (and added an unit test to keep it working from now on). This bug was reported on the discussion group by a few users.

The status message of a station is no longer shown on the real-time map view if it's more than 24 hours older than the last position report from the station.

I did a couple of very small fixes (disabled IPv4-only GeoIP and increased database column length), recompiled web server software with IPv6 support, and added some configuration, and made aprs.fi available over IPv6 at http://ipv6.aprs.fi/! The whole effort took under an hour. Like the guys at Google say, it's surprisingly easy to set up. After all, it's pretty old technology – I first played with it about 10 years ago.

After some time I'll probably add AAAA records for http://aprs.fi/ so that everyone with IPv6 connectivity will automatically use IPv6 instead of IPv4. Most big sites still use separate hostnames like ipv6.google.com because there are some buggy operating systems and bad ipv6 network configurations which make the end-user hosts believe they have global IPv6 connectivity while it is, in fact, broken.

Windows Vista and Windows 7 have IPv6 connectivity built in and enabled by default, so the amount of IPv6 clients is going to grow quickly in the near future. Your network provider doesn't need to support IPv6, since 6to4 and Teredo tunneling are also enabled in those operating systems by default.

The Other Stuff included setting up native IPv6 routing for the network where aprs.fi servers are hosted. We got two /48 IPv6 PI prefixes, one for each AS. I set up BGP routing on 5 routers (Cisco, Juniper) over those two ASes and made native (not tunneled) IPv6 available to the users of the network. The ISP I'm using (Nebula) also offers native IPv6 to residential ADSL customers.

There's not much value in this to most of you right now, but at least it's cool and future-proof. Makes the service available for those of you who will end up with IPv6-only connections when we run out of IPv4 addresses in a few years.

1 comment:

Kevin said...

I've been testing ipv6.aprs.fi on an IPv6 only segment here at home. Data pages load fine, as do the maps thanks to Google. Unfortunately the station icons are served up by astatic[12].tunkki.fi, which resolve to IPv4 only addresses. Any chance of getting those IPv6 enabled to make the site fully operational on v6 only?