IPv6 Implementation Update

State of IPv6 in cPanel & WHM
IPv4 IP allocation depletion is somewhat analogous to Y2K. The solution is essentially the same, except instead of going from 2 to 4 decimal digits in a year, we’re going from 32 to 128 binary digits in IP addresses while still supporting the old system. cPanel & WHM will continue to support IPv4 for the foreseeable future by means of a “dual-stack implementation” which includes support for IPv6 addresses while still accommodating IPv4 addresses.

Much like Y2K, this issue requires a proactive solution rather than a reactive response. That is why cPanel has been working diligently on research and analysis to incorporate IPv6 support into our products. In 2013 we will begin to deliver features that support IPv6.

As some of you may already know, IPv6 is much more than just a change in the addressing scheme. However, given the urgency of supporting IPv6 addressing, we will first focus on allowing you to manage manually assigned IPv6 addresses at least as well as you can currently manage IPv4 addresses in cPanel & WHM. We also look forward to supporting IPv6 addresses on NSD, MyDNS and BIND (for DNS functionality), Apache (for website functionality), cPanel & WHM and its related services, and the various mail services we support. Additional services will be made IPv6-capable as deemed fit. The level of support cPanel will provide for IPv6 will provide functionality needed for serving web content.

Unlike Y2K, this is not simply a matter of fixing software. While your workstation likely supports IPv6 and cPanel-powered hosting providers will have software that supports IPv6, everything between your computer and the server running cPanel & WHM needs to support IPv6 as well. This means that your Internet provider, your cPanel & WHM server’s data center, and all the servers and routers in between must support IPv6. Otherwise, for you, IPv6 essentially does not exist.

To see if your Internet connection currently has an IPv6 address, visit: Test your IPv6 Connectivity.

Data centers around the world hope to explore and resolve IPv6 compatibility issues among their networks as part of World IPv6 Day. The Internet Society coordinates this event and you can learn more about it at: World IPv6 Day Information.

In the meantime, if you run a data center, you may find it beneficial to check your firewalls and other network infrastructure to ensure that they are as robust with IPv6 as they are with IPv4. There have been several industry reports of network hardware malfunctions with IPv6, such as firewalls improperly filtering IPv6 traffic. Please take the time to ensure that your network infrastructure can reliably support IPv6-capable versions of cPanel & WHM.

Lastly, you can join cPanel community members for IPv6-related discussions here: cPanel & WHM IPv6 Discussion.