[v6ops] Eating our own dog food : students solving IPv6 entreprise multihoming

Olivier Bonaventure <olivier.bonaventure@tessares.net> Thu, 20 July 2017 06:53 UTC

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To: RTGWG <rtgwg@ietf.org>, V6 Ops List <v6ops@ietf.org>
Cc: Olivier Tilmans <olivier.tilmans@uclouvain.be>
From: Olivier Bonaventure <olivier.bonaventure@tessares.net>
Message-ID: <a174658e-edab-bda6-f6b8-24014ea57d6b@tessares.net>
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2017 08:53:31 +0200
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Subject: [v6ops] Eating our own dog food : students solving IPv6 entreprise multihoming
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During v6ops and yesterday's plenary, John Brzozowski encouraged us to 
use our own technologies for the IETF network with NAT64. This argument 
is valid for those who teach computer networks and since RTGWG is 
working on enterprise IPv6 multihoming, you might be interested in a 
recent experiment we did with our students.

When students learn networking, they should not learn the current state 
of affairs but be prepared for the future since they'll only graduate in 
a few years. Several years ago, when IPv6 deployment was burgeoning, I 
decided to remove IPv4 from my networking 101 open-source textbook
( http://cnp3book.info.ucl.ac.be ). Since then, our students only learn 
IPv6 and results are excellent. Once they've learned IPv6, they can 
quickly understand how IPv4 works. Hopefully they'll see sunset4 during 
their career.

After networking 101, some of your students attend an advanced 
networking course. This course combines theory with practice and usually 
students do practice after theory to illustrate the theoratical 
concepts. This year, we decided to flip the course and start from a 
practical problem to see how groups of students can address this problem 
with an open mindset and based only on what they've learned from 
networking 101 and the information that they will find on the Internet. 
During their carreer, they will be forced to learn on the spot anyway 
and they should better start early to look at rfcs, internet drafts and 
open-source implementations.

The project given to the students was very simple. One of the engineers 
responsible for our (IPv4 mainly :-() campus network explained the 
architecture and the basic openrational principles that they use. 
Olivier Tilmans prepared a virtual machine that mimics our compus 
network (basically six routers) and we attached a few virtual machines 
to act as servers and clients. The only constraint that we was that the 
campus network had two upstream providers each delegating a different 
prefix to the campus network.

Then, the students had to  :
- define an IPv6 addressing plan for their network
- select, install and configure a routing protocol and make sure that it 
  was working correctly
- install and configure dhcp servers/ra to distribute addresses
- install and configure DNS servers and resolvers
- install and configure Diffserv-like traffic control
- install and configure ssh and http servers
- install and configure firewall services to protect the network
- think about a solution to monitor the network

[the number of tasks was chosen based on the number of students in each 

All student teams had an operation network at the end of the project. 
Since we believe in automation and open-source, we required them to 
automate their network from day one and several groups have released 
their entire project in open-source.

 From a teaching viewpoint, entreprise IPv6 multihoming is a very nice 
problem. To encourage other educators (and maybe also network engineers 
willing to continue to learn) to experiment with IPv6 entreprise 
multihoming, we have released all the software developed to create this 
project in open-source.

You can find all the details at :


You only need a Linux virtual machine provided by Vagrant to reproduce 
the experiment. The barrier to experiment with IPv6 entreprise 
multihoming is very low.

Selected students projects with reports and code are available from this 
repository as well


I encourage you to have a look at the students' reports to see their 
final results:

Comments and feedback are welcome although the IETF mailing lists may 
not be the best place for discussions on software or teaching projects...

Olivier Tilmans and Olivier Bonaventure


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