The ICANN has announced on February 4th 2008 that 6 of the 13 root servers of the DNS (servers A, F, H, J, K and M) have had their IPv6 addresses published.
The ICANN wants signify the Internet community that the time to change towards the IPv6 protocol is close.
This important and long awaited for evolution will allow to intensify the use of IPv6 to resolve names used by Internet applications (DNS requests -Domain Name System).
From now on if the TLD (Top Level Domain) has also name servers available in IPv6 and if the other consulted name servers are also available in IPv6 (already the case for the zone cnrs.fr), a machine with IPv6 only will now be able to use the DNS directly, without using a relay. Many zones in France and the rest of the world are ready for IPv6: renater.fr, nic.fr, switch.ch, ...
In France, RENATER and the AFNIC were among the pioneers for the implementation of IPv6
RENATER offers IPv6 services since 2002 and since 2004, hosts a replica of the F and M servers of the DNS root zone on its SFINX (Service for a French INternet eXchange) exchange point. These servers support IPv6 DNS requests and benefit not only to the teaching and research community in France and in Europe (through GÉANT) but also to all operators and service providers present on RENATER's exchange point.
By implementing IPv6 in its production system, the AFNIC allows it to be taken into account in .fr and .re domain name registration operations.
Since November 2001, the AFNIC has an official name server ("ns3.nic.fr") for the fr and re zones, that supports native IPv6 and is located on the SFINX, the parisian exchange point managed by RENATER.
IPv6 in DNS resolution was extended to other servers managed by the AFNIC. Thanks to its connection to RENATER's IPv6 network, it offers a complete visibility in IPv4 and in IPv6 for fr and re zones to Internet providers present of the SFINX as well as the rest of the Internet.
France (.fr) is thereby the second local extension in the world, after Japan (.jp) to support native IPv6.
Further information about...
...The DNS (Domain Name System).
The DNS (Domain Name System) is a basic service of the Internet that regroups the mechanisms that allow to find the Internet address of a machine from its name ("resolve a name").
Almost all Internet applications, at one moment or the other, goes and interrogate the DNS (Domain Name System). This service is a gigantic directory, used to translate domain names like www.afnic.fr into IP addresses, a succession of numbers like 2001:660:3003:2::4:20, to find the e-mail server of a domain, to find the instant message servers of a domain and much more.
If the DNS is widely invisible to the final users, in practice, it represents a very important part of the Internet's infrastructure. One web page can need dozens of calls to the DNS. The DNS operates on a mechanism of client-server. The client uses the IP protocol to interrogate a DNS server, a name server. How does the client find a server? It first asks the root servers (twelve operators manage about a hundred physical sites where these servers are located) that will redirect him towards the TLD servers (Top-Level Domain, for example the AFNIC that manages the .fr TLD servers, that identify France). These servers will redirect the client towards the servers of the considered domain name (for example cnrs.fr if it is searching for something at the CNRS).
About GIP RENATER
The GIP RENATER works on the RENATER network that provides a national and international high-speed connectivity to more than a thousand sites.
The network's infrastructure is composed of national connections that link different presence points in France and its overseas departments. On the international level, the RENATER network is linked to the other european NRENs (National Research and Education Network) through the GEANT network used by more than 3 million researchers in 34 European countries.
Since 1995, the GIP RENATER also works on the SFINX Internet traffic exchange point between ISPs (Internet Service Providers) or telecommunication operators. An Anycast copy of the root server F managed by ISC (US) and the root server M managed by WIDE (Japan) are hosted on the SFINX.
Press contact : Virginie Blanquart - Phone: +33 1 53 94 20 90
About the AFNIC
(Association Française pour le Nommage Internet en Coopération )
Non-profit organization, the AFNIC is in charge of the administrative and technical management of the .fr (France) and .re (Reunion Island) Internet domain names.
The AFNIC brings together public and private members: representatives from the French government, Internet users and Internet Service Providers (Registrars).