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PING6 IPv6 in South Africa


DNS in IPv6 land

Many of the experienced networking people that I speak to about IPv6 have one major complaint: "IPv6 is rubbish - I would never be able to type an address that long out of my head"

It is true that many network technicians and engineers make regular use of IPv4 literals in their daily lives. My view is that if you are typing the IP address then - YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG!

IPv6 may well be the push that is required to get many lazy networking professionals to implement proper DNS on their networks. A properly set up DNS infrastructure even on a home LAN can be a life saver and it save a lot of time in the long run.

DNS tips for IPv6 survival:

  • DNS everything - choose an easy to remember hostname for every device on your network. Every PC, server, router, wifi AP and IP capable device should have a hostname that you can add to your zonefile.
  • Choose your best IP for DNS. DNS should be the only thing that you ever have to manually configure on a device. Choose the shortest and easiest available IP address for your DNS server. If you are running a large network then choose 3 or 4 prefixes that you reserve for DNS anycast resolvers. That way you avoid confusion by using the same DNS server IP throughout the whole network.
  • Keep it local. If you don't want to do full DNS infrastructure then add it to your local DNS resolver. Many home routers and gateways have a 'hosts' facility that allows you to add DNS entries that are visible only within your local network.

and finally

  • Make proper use of 'search domains'. Most IP devices have a config option called a 'search domain' or sometimes just 'domain'. This is the home domain of the host and is appended to any DNS query when it is first looked up. This means that you can use the DNS name 'myserver' and it automatically gets expanded to 'myserver.example.com' for you. This is a huge time saver since your DNS name is now in fact shorter than even the IPv4 address of a host.
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