Microsoft Backtracks on Move to IPv6 Only Internal Wireless Network

Microsoft backtracked on its plan to migrate its internal wireless guest network to IPv6-only. Veronika McKillop, Network Architect at Microsoft, in a post on Monday says:

Unfortunately, we had to stop this work because we came across something that the previous internal testing had not uncovered — a team member attended a conference where Internet access was provided as IPv6-only and 99% of attendees could not get their VPN clients to connect on this network.

VPN failing on IPv6-only networks (through NAT64) is, as we then found out, well documented in RFC 7269. This finding made it clear that visitors to Microsoft offices who rely on the Guest network would be heavily impacted unless their VPN gateways were IPv6-enabled.

Deployment of IPv6 by other companies is out of our control and therefore this network is currently undergoing a less radical makeover to dual stack. IPv6-only is on-hold for production even though we intend to pilot it to assess the real impact on Microsoft visitors.

McKillop continues, “The network part is easy, barring software bugs, applications are the big unknown,”Not just our own but the third-party applications that often claim ‘IPv6 compatible’ however when it comes to a real deployment, the experience is quite different.”

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