North American Network Operators Group

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Apple Airport Extreme IPv6 problems?

  • From: Barrett Lyon
  • Date: Sat Sep 15 12:14:02 2007

Apple is nice enough to provide an automatic v6 tunnel from their new Airport Extreme units. They even get all the machines on the network to participate -- by default! At first this did not seem to be much of an issue, it was even pretty cool.

However, I noticed as I roll out more v6 services to support native v6 users, I am impacting the network performance of almost all of the Apple airport population that has an inefficient tunnel configuration. The user obviously will take the AAAA v6 published IP over the v4 A record.

Don't get me wrong v6 tunnels are great, when you opt-in and know what you are getting into. For example, my grandparents tunnel in California goes to Virginia. This impacts the user experience rather significantly with the first hop being nearly 100ms where their services to California are ~20ms. It's painful for a lot of users, especially when they don't even know what's going on.

Has anyone else ran into this? It's not pretty for a CDN or anyone trying to provide a quality service over v6, shunting users over inefficiently tunneled routes does not sit well with me. I think Apple has made a mistake by enabling this by default.