draft-ietf-dnsop-ipv6-dns-issues-02.txt   draft-ietf-dnsop-ipv6-dns-issues-03.txt 
Internet Engineering Task Force Alain Durand
INTERNET-DRAFT SUN Microsystems,inc.
Feb, 27, 2003 Johan Ihren
Expires August, 28, 2003 Autonomica
IPv6 DNS transition issues DNS Operations WG A. Durand
<draft-ietf-dnsop-ipv6-dns-issues-02.txt> Internet-Draft SUN Microsystems, Inc.
Expires: May 1, 2004 J. Ihren
P. Savola
Nov 2003
Status of this memo Operational Considerations and Issues with IPv6 DNS
This memo provides information to the Internet community. It does not Status of this Memo
specify an Internet standard of any kind. This memo is in full
conformance with all provisions of Section 10 of RFC2026 This document is an Internet-Draft and is in full conformance with
all provisions of Section 10 of RFC2026.
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Copyright Notice
Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2003). All Rights Reserved.
Abstract Abstract
This memo summarizes DNS related issues when transitioning a network This memo presents operational considerations and issues with IPv6
to IPv6. Consensus and open issues are presented. Domain Name System (DNS), including a summary of special IPv6
addresses, documentation of known DNS implementation misbehaviour,
recommendations and considerations on how to perform DNS naming for
service provisioning and for DNS resolver IPv6 support,
considerations for DNS updates for both the forward and reverse
trees, and miscellaneous issues. This memo is aimed to include a
summary of information about IPv6 DNS considerations for those who
have experience with IPv4 DNS.
1. Representing IPv6 addresses in DNS records Table of Contents
In the direct zones, according to [RFC3363], IPv6 addresses are 1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
represented using AAAA records [RFC1886]. In the reverse zone, IPv6 1.1 Representing IPv6 Addresses in DNS Records . . . . . . . . . . 3
addresses are represented using PTR records in nibble format under 1.2 Difference of DNS Transport and DNS Records . . . . . . . . . 3
the ip6.arpa. tree [RFC3152]. 1.3 Avoiding IPv4/IPv6 Name Space Fragmentation . . . . . . . . . 4
2. DNS Considerations about Special IPv6 Addresses . . . . . . . 4
2.1 Limited-scope Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
2.2 Privacy (RFC3041) Address . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
2.3 6to4 Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
3. Observed DNS Implementation Misbehaviour . . . . . . . . . . . 5
3.1 Misbehaviour of DNS Servers and Load-balancers . . . . . . . . 5
3.2 Misbehaviour of DNS Resolvers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
4. Recommendations for Service Provisioning using DNS . . . . . . 6
4.1 Use of Service Names instead of Node Names . . . . . . . . . . 6
4.2 Separate vs the Same Service Names for IPv4 and IPv6 . . . . . 7
4.3 Adding the Records Only when Fully IPv6-enabled . . . . . . . 7
4.4 IPv6 Transport Guidelines for DNS Servers . . . . . . . . . . 8
5. Recommendations for DNS Resolver IPv6 Support . . . . . . . . 8
5.1 DNS Lookups May Query IPv6 Records Prematurely . . . . . . . . 8
5.2 Recursive DNS Server Discovery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
5.3 IPv6 Transport Guidelines for Resolvers . . . . . . . . . . . 10
6. Considerations about Forward DNS Updating . . . . . . . . . . 10
6.1 Manual or Custom DNS Updates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
6.2 Dynamic DNS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
7. Considerations about Reverse DNS Updating . . . . . . . . . . 11
7.1 Applicability of Reverse DNS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
7.2 Manual or Custom DNS Updates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
7.3 DDNS with Stateless Address Autoconfiguration . . . . . . . . 12
7.4 DDNS With DHCP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
7.5 DDNS with Dynamic Prefix Delegation . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
8. Miscellaneous DNS Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
8.1 NAT-PT with DNS-ALG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
8.2 Renumbering Procedures and Applications' Use of DNS . . . . . 13
9. Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
10. Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Authors' Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
A. Site-local Addressing Considerations for DNS . . . . . . . . . 17
Intellectual Property and Copyright Statements . . . . . . . . 18
2. IPv4/IPv6 name space 1. Introduction
2.1 Terminology This memo presents operational considerations and issues with IPv6
DNS; it is meant to be an extensive summary and a list of pointers
for more information about IPv6 DNS considerations for those with
experience of IPv4 DNS.
The phrase "IPv4 name server" indicates a name server available over The first section gives a brief overview of how IPv6 addresses and
IPv4 transport. It does not imply anything about what DNS data is names are represented in the DNS, how transport protocols and
served. Likewise, "IPv6 name server" indicates a name server resource records (don't) relate, and what IPv4/IPv6 name space
available over IPv6 transport. fragmentation means and how to avoid it; all of these are described
at more length in other documents.
2.2. Introduction to the problem of name space fragmentation: The second section summarizes the special IPv6 address types and how
following the referral chain they relate to DNS. The third section describes observed DNS
implementation misbehaviour which have a varying effect on the use of
IPv6 records with DNS. The fourth section lists recommendations and
considerations for provisioning services with DNS. The fifth section
in turn looks at recommendations and considerations about providing
IPv6 support in the resolvers. The sixth and seveth sections
describe considerations with forward and reverse DNS updates,
respectively. The eighth section introduces several miscellaneous
IPv6 issues relating to DNS for which no better place has been found
in this memo. Appendix A looks briefly at the requirements for
site-local addressing.
The caching resolver that tries to lookup a name starts out at the 1.1 Representing IPv6 Addresses in DNS Records
root, and follows referrals until it is referred to a nameserver that
is authoritative for the name. If somewhere down the chain of
referrals it is referred to a nameserver that is only accessible over
a type of transport that is unavailable, a traditional nameserver is
unable to finish the task.
When the Internet moves from IPv4 to a mixture of IPv4 and IPv6 it is In the forward zones, IPv6 addresses are represented using AAAA
only a matter of time until this starts to happen and the complete records. In the reverse zones, IPv6 address are represented using
DNS hierarchy starts to fragment into a graph where authoritative PTR records in the nibble format under the ip6.arpa. -tree. See [1]
nameservers for certain nodes are only accessible over a certain for more about IPv6 DNS usage, and [2] or [4] for background
transport. What is feared is that a node using only a particular information.
version of IP, querying information about another node using the same
version of IP can not do it because, somewhere in the chain of
servers accessed during the resolution process, one or more of them
will only be accessible with the other version of IP.
With all DNS data only available over IPv4 transport everything is In particular one should note that the use of A6 records, DNAME
simple. IPv4 resolvers can use the intended mechanism of following records in the reverse tree, or Bitlabels in the reverse tree is not
referrals from the root and down while IPv6 resolvers have to work recommended [2].
through a "translator", i.e. they have to use a second name server on
a so-called "dual stack" host as a "forwarder" since they cannot
access the DNS data directly.
With all DNS data only available over IPv6 transport everything would 1.2 Difference of DNS Transport and DNS Records
be equally simple, with the exception of old legacy IPv4 name servers
having to switch to a forwarding configuration.
However, the second situation will not arise in a foreseeable time. In DNS, the IP version used to transport the queries and responses is
Instead, it is expected that the transition will be from IPv4 only to independent of the records being queried: AAAA records can be queried
a mixture of IPv4 and IPv6, with DNS data of theoretically three over IPv4, and A records over IPv6. The DNS servers must not make any
categories depending on whether it is available only over IPv4 assumptions about what data to return for Answer and Authority
transport, only over IPv6 or both. sections.
The latter is the best situation, and a major question is how to However, there is some debate whether the addresses in Additional
ensure that it as quickly as possible becomes the norm. However, section could be selected or filtered using hints obtained from which
while it is obvious that some DNS data will only be available over v4 transport was being used; this has some obvious problems because in
transport for a long time it is also obvious that it is important to many cases the transport protocol does not correlate with the
avoid fragmenting the name space available to IPv4 only hosts. I.e. requests, and because a "bad" answer is in a way worse than no answer
during transition it is not acceptable to break the name space that at all (consider the case where the client is led to believe that a
we presently have available for IPv4-only hosts. name received in the additional record does not have any AAAA records
to begin with).
2.3 Policy based avoidance of name space fragmentation. As stated in [1]:
Today there are only a few DNS "zones" on the public Internet that The IP protocol version used for querying resource records is
are available over IPv6 transport, and they can mostly be regarded independent of the protocol version of the resource records; e.g.,
as "experimental". However, as soon as there is a root name server IPv4 transport can be used to query IPv6 records and vice versa.
available over IPv6 transport it is reasonable to expect that it will
become more common to have zones served by IPv6 servers over time.
Having those zones served only by IPv6-only name server would not be 1.3 Avoiding IPv4/IPv6 Name Space Fragmentation
a good development, since this will fragment the previously
unfragmented IPv4 name space and there are strong reasons to find a
mechanism to avoid it.
The RECOMMENDED approach to maintain name space continuity is to use To avoid the DNS name space from fragmenting into parts where some
administrative policies: parts of DNS are only visible using IPv4 (or IPv6) transport, the
- every recursive DNS server SHOULD be either IPv4-only or dual recommendation is to always keep at least one authoritative server
stack, IPv4-enabled, and to ensure that recursive DNS servers support IPv4.
- every single DNS zone SHOULD be served by at least one IPv4 See DNS IPv6 transport guidelines [3] for more information.
reachable DNS server.
This rules out IPv6-only recursive DNS servers and DNS zones served 2. DNS Considerations about Special IPv6 Addresses
only by IPv6-only DNS servers. This approach could be revisited
if/when translation techniques between IPv4 and IPv6 were to be
widely deployed.
In order to enforce the second point, the zone validation process There are a couple of IPv6 address types which are somewhat special;
SHOULD ensure that there is at least one IPv4 address record these are considered here.
available for the name servers of any child delegations within the
3. Local Scope addresses. 2.1 Limited-scope Addresses
[IPv6ADDRARCH] define three scopes of addresses, link local, site The IPv6 addressing architecture [5] includes two kinds of local-use
local and global. addresses: link-local (fe80::/10) and site-local (fec0::/10). The
site-local addresses are being deprecated [6], and are only discussed
in Appendix A.
3.1 Link local addresses Link-local addresses should never be published in DNS, because they
have only local (to the connected link) significance [7].
Local addresses SHOULD NOT be published in the DNS, neither in the 2.2 Privacy (RFC3041) Address
forward tree nor in the reverse tree.
3.2 Site local addresses Privacy addresses (RFC3041 [8]) use a random number as the interface
identifier. Publishing DNS records relating to such addresses would
defeat the purpose of the mechanism and is not recommended. If
absolutely necessary, a mapping could be made to some
non-identifiable name, as described in [8].
Note: There is an ongoing discussion in the IPv6 wg on the 2.3 6to4 Addresses
usefulness of site local addresses that may end up deprecating or
limiting the use of Site Local addresses.
Site local addresses are an evolution of private addresses [RFC1918] 6to4 [9] specifies an automatic tunneling mechanism which maps a
in IPv4. The main difference is that, within a site, nodes are public IPv4 address V4ADDR to an IPv6 prefix 2002:V4ADDR::/48.
expected to have several addresses with different scopes. [ADDRSELEC] Providing reverse DNS delegation path for such addresses is a
recommends to use the lowest possible scope possible for challenge. Note that similar difficulties don't surface with the
communications. That is, if both site local & global addresses are other automatic tunneling mechanisms (in parcicular, providing
published in the DNS for node B, and node A is configured also with reverse DNS information for Teredo hosts whose address includes the
both site local & global addresses, the communication between node A UDP port of the NAT binding does not seem reasonable).
and B has to use site local addresses.
For reasons illustrated in [DontPublish], site local addresses SHOULD If the reverse DNS population would be desirable (see Section 7.1 for
NOT be published in the public DNS. They MAY be published in a site applicability), there are a number of ways to tackle the delegation
view of the DNS if two-face DNS is deployed. path problem [10], some more applicable than the others.
For a related discussion on how to handle those "local" zones, see The main proposal [11] has been to allocate to RIRs
[LOCAL]. and let them do subdelegations in accordance to the delegations of
the respective IPv4 address space. This has a major practical
drawback: those ISPs and IPv4 address space holders where 6to4 is
being used do not, in general, provide any IPv6 services -- as
otherwise, most people would not use 6to4 to begin with -- and it is
improbable that the reverse delegation chain would be completed
either. In most cases, creating such delegation chains might just
lead to latencies caused by lookups for (almost always) non-existant
DNS records.
3.3 Reverse path DNS for site local addresses. 3. Observed DNS Implementation Misbehaviour
The main issue is that the view of a site may be different on a stub Several classes of misbehaviour in DNS servers, load-balancers and
resolver and on a fully recursive resolver it points to. A simple resolvers has been observed. Most of these are rather generic, not
scenario to illustrate the issue is a home network deploying site only applicable to IPv6 -- but in some cases, the consequences of
local addresses. Reverse DNS resolution for site local addresses has this misbehaviour are extremely severe in IPv6 environments and
to be done within the home network and the stub resolver cannot deserve to be mentioned.
simply point to the ISP DNS resolver.
Site local addresses SHOULD NOT be populated in the public reverse 3.1 Misbehaviour of DNS Servers and Load-balancers
tree. If two-face DNS is deployed, site local addresses MAY be
populated in the local view of reverse tree.
4. Automatic population of the Reverse path DNS There are several classes of misbehaviour in certain DNS servers and
load-balancers which have been noticed and documented [12]: some
implementations silently drop queries for unimplemented DNS records
types, or provide wrong answers to such queries (instead of a proper
negative reply). While typically these issues are not limited to
AAAA records, the problems are aggravated by the fact that AAAA
records are being queried instead of (mainly) A records.
Getting the reverse tree DNS populated correctly in IPv4 is not an The problems are serious because when looking up a DNS name, typical
easy exercise and very often the records are not really up to date or getaddrinfo() implementations, with AF_UNSPEC hint given, first try
simply are just not there. As IPv6 addresses are much longer than to query the AAAA records of the name, and after receiving a
IPv4 addresses, the situation of the reverse tree DNS will probably response, query the A records. This is done in a serial fashion -- if
be even worse. the first query is never responded (instead of properly returning a
negative answer), significant timeouts will occur.
A fairly common practice from IPv4 ISP is to generate PTR records for In consequence, this is an enermous problem for IPv6 deployments, and
home customers automatically from the IPv4 address itself. Something in some cases, IPv6 support in the software has even been disabled
like: due to these problems. IN PTR The solution is to fix or retire those misbehaving implementations,
but that is likely not going to be effective. There are some
possible ways to mitigate the problem, e.g. by performing the lookups
somewhat in parallel and reducing the timeout as long as at least one
answer has been received; but such methods remain to be investigated;
slightly more on this in Section 5.
It is not clear today if something similar need to be done in IPv6, 3.2 Misbehaviour of DNS Resolvers
and, if yes, what is the best approach to this problem.
As the number of possible PTR records would be huge (2^80) for a /48 Several classes of misbehaviour have also been noticed in DNS
prefix, a possible solution would be to use wildcards entries like: resolvers [13]. However, these do not seem to directly impair IPv6
use, and are only referred to for completeness.
*. IN PTR customer-42.local- 4. Recommendations for Service Provisioning using DNS
However, the use of wildcard is generally discouraged and this may When names are added in the DNS to facilitate a service, there are
not be an acceptable solution. several general guidelines to consider to be able to do it as
smoothly as possible.
An alternative approach is to dynamically synthetize PTR records, 4.1 Use of Service Names instead of Node Names
either on the server side or on the resolver side. This approach is
discussed at length in [DYNREVERSE].
Other solutions like the use of ICMP name lookups [ICMPNL] have been When a node includes multiple services, one should keep them
proposed but failed to reach consensus. It would work if and only the logically separate in the DNS. This can be done by the use of
remote host is reachable at the time of the request and one can service names instead of node names (or, "hostnames").
somehow trust the value that would be returned by the remote host.
A more radical approach would be not to pre-populate the reverse tree For example, assume a node named "pobox.example.com" provides both
at all. This approach claims that applications that misuse reverse SMTP and IMAP service. Instead of configuring the MX records to
DNS for any kind of access control are fundamentally broken and point at "pobox.example.com", and configuring the mail clients to
should be fixed without introducing any kludge in the DNS. There is a look up the mail via IMAP from "pobox.example.com", one should use
certain capital of sympathy for this, however, ISP who who pre- e.g. "smtp.example.com" for SMTP (for both message submission and
generate statically PTR records for their IPv4 customers do it for a mail relaying between SMTP servers) and "imap.example.com" for IMAP.
reason, and it is unlikely that this reason will disappear with the Note that in the specific case of STMP relaying, the server itself
introduction of IPv6. must typically also be configured to know all its names to ensure
loops do not occur. DNS can provide a layer of indirection between
service names and where the service actually is, and using which
5. Privacy extension addresses This is a good practice with IPv4 as well, because it provides more
flexibility and enables easier migration of services from one host to
another. A specific reason why this is relevant for IPv6 is that the
different services may have a different level of IPv6 support -- that
is, one node providing multiple services might want to enable just
one service to be IPv6-visible while keeping some others as
IPv4-only. Using service names enables more flexibility with
different IP versions as well.
[RFC3041] defines privacy extensions for IPv6 stateless 4.2 Separate vs the Same Service Names for IPv4 and IPv6
autoconfiguration where the interface ID is a random number. As those
addresses are designed to provide privacy by making it more difficult
to log and trace back to the user, it makes no sense to in the
reverse tree DNS to have them pointing to a real name.
[RFC3041] type addresses SHOULD NOT be published in the reverse tree The service naming can be achieved in basically two ways: when a
DNS pointing to meaningful names. A generic, catch-all name MAY be service is named "service.example.com" for IPv4, the IPv6-enabled
acceptable. An interesting alternative would be to use dynamic service could be either added to "service.example.com", or added
synthesis as in [DYNREVERSE]. separately to a sub-domain, like, "service.ipv6.example.com".
6. 6to4 Both methods have different characteristics. Using a sub-domain
allows for easier service piloting, probably not disturbing the
"regular" users of IPv4 service; however, the service would not be
used without explicitly asking for it (or, within a restricted
network, modifying the DNS search path) -- so it will not actually be
used that much. Using the same service name is the "long-term"
solution, but may degrade performance for those clients whose IPv6
performance is lower than IPv4, or does not work as well (see the
next subsection for more).
6to4 addresses can be published in the forward DNS, however special In most cases, it makes sense to pilot or test a service using
care is needed in the reverse tree. See [6to4ReverseDNS] for details. separate service names, and move to the use of the same name when
The delegation of is suggested in [6to4ARPA], confident enough that the service level will not degrade for the
however, delegations in the reverse zone under are users unaware of IPv6.
the core of the problem. Delegating the next 32 bits of the IPv4
address used in the 6to4 domain won't scale and delegating on less
may require cooperation from the upstream IPSs. The problem here is
that, especially in the case of home usage of 6to4, the entity being
delegated the x.y.z.t. zone (the ISP) may not be the
same as the one using 6to4 (the end customer). the
Another problem with reverse DNS for 6to4 addresses is that the 6to4 4.3 Adding the Records Only when Fully IPv6-enabled
prefix may be transient. One of the usage scenario of 6to4 is to have
PCs connected via dial-up use 6to4 to connect to the IPv6 Internet.
In such a scenario, the lifetime of the 6to4 prefix is the same as
the DHCP lease of the IPv4 address it is derived from. It means that
the reverse DNS delegation is only valid for the same duration.
A possible approach is not to populate the reverse tree DNS for 6to4 The recommendation is that AAAA records for a service should not be
addresses. Another one is to use dynamic synthesis as described in added to the DNS until all of following are true:
7. Recursive DNS server discovery 1. The address is assigned to the interface on the node.
[DNSdiscovery] has been proposed to reserve a well known site local 2. The address is configured on the interface.
unicast address to configure the DNS resolver as a last resort
mechanism, when no other information is available. Another approach
is to use a DHCPv6 extensions [DHCPv6DNS].
8. DNSsec 3. The interface is on a link which is connected to the IPv6
There is nothing specific to IPv6 or IPv4 in DNSsec. However, In addition, if the AAAA record is added for the node, instead of
translation tools such as NAT-PT [RFC2766] introduce a DNS-ALG that service as recommended, all the services of the node should be
will break DNSsec by imposing a change in the trust model. See [DNS- IPv6-enabled prior to adding the AAAA record.
ALG] for details.
9. Security considerations For example, if an IPv6 node is isolated from an IPv6 perspective
(e.g., it is not connected to IPv6 Internet) constraint #3 would mean
that it should not have an address in the DNS.
Using wildcard DNS records in the reverse path tree may have some Consider the case of two dual-stack nodes, which both have IPv6
implication when used in conjunction with DNSsec. Security enabled, but the server does not have (global) IPv6 connectivity. As
considerations for referenced documents are described in those memos the client looks up the server's name, only A records are returned
and are not replicated here. (if the recommendations above are followed), and no IPv6
communication, which would be unsuccessful, is even attempted.
10. Author addresses The issues are not always so black-and-white. Usually it's important
if the service offered using both protocols is of roughly equal
quality, using the appropriate metrics for the service (e.g.,
latency, throughput, low packet loss, general reliability, etc.) --
this is typically very important especially for interactive or
real-time services. In many cases, the quality of IPv6 connectivity
is not yet equal to that of IPv4, at least globally -- this has to be
taken into consideration when enabling services [14].
4.4 IPv6 Transport Guidelines for DNS Servers
As described in Section 1.3 and [3], there should continue to be at
least one authorative IPv4 DNS server for every zone, even if the
zone has only IPv6 records. (Note that obviously, having more servers
with robust connectivity would be preferably, but this is the
5. Recommendations for DNS Resolver IPv6 Support
When IPv6 is enabled on a node, there are several things to consider
to ensure that the process is as smooth as possible.
5.1 DNS Lookups May Query IPv6 Records Prematurely
The system library that implements the getaddrinfo() function for
looking up names is a critical piece when considering the robustness
of enabling IPv6; it may come in basically three flavours:
1. The system library does not know whether IPv6 has been enabled in
the kernel of the operating system: it may start looking up AAAA
records with getaddrinfo() and AF_UNSPEC hint when the system is
upgraded to a system library version which supports IPv6.
2. The system library might start to perform IPv6 queries with
getaddrinfo() only when IPv6 has been enabled in the kernel.
However, this does not guarantee that there exists any useful
IPv6 connectivity (e.g., the node could be isolated from the
other IPv6 networks, only having link-local addresses).
3. The system library might implement a toggle which would apply
some heuristics to the "IPv6-readiness" of the node before
starting to perform queries; for example, it could check that a
link-local IPv6 address exists, or a global IPv6 address exists.
First, let us consider generic implications of unnecessary queries
for AAAA records: when looking up all the records in the DNS, AAAA
records are typically tried first, and then A records. These are
done in serial, and the A query is not performed until a response is
received to the AAAA query. Considering the misbehaviour of DNS
servers and load-balancers, as described in Section 3.1, the look-up
delay for AAAA may incur additional unnecessary latency, and
introduce a component of unreliability.
One option here could be to do the queries partially in parallel; for
example, if the final response to the AAAA query is not received in
0.5 seconds, start performing the A query while waiting for the
result (immediate parallelism might be unoptimal without information
sharing between the look-up threads, as that would probably lead to
duplicate non-cached delegation chain lookups).
An additional concern is the address selection, which may, in some
circumstances, prefer AAAA records over A records, even when the node
does not have any IPv6 connectivity [15]. In some cases, the
implementation may attempt to connect or send a datagram on a
physical link [16], incurring very long protocol timeouts, instead of
quickly failing back to IPv4.
Now, we can consider the issues specific to each of the three
In the first case, the node performs a number of completely useless
DNS lookups as it will not be able to use the returned AAAA records
anyway. (The only exception is where the application desires to know
what's in the DNS, but not use the result for communication.) One
should be able to disable these unnecessary queries, for both latency
and reliability reasons. However, as IPv6 has not been enabled, the
connections to IPv6 addresses fail immediately, and if the
application is programmed properly, the application can fall
gracefully back to IPv4 [17].
The second case is similar to the first, except it happens to a
smaller set of nodes when IPv6 has been enabled but connectivity has
not been provided yet; similar considerations apply, with the
exception that IPv6 records, when returned, will be actually tried
first which may typically lead to long timeouts.
The third case is a bit more complex: optimizing away the DNS lookups
with only link-locals is probably safe (but may be desirable with
different lookup services which getaddrinfo() may support), as the
link-locals are typically automatically generated when IPv6 is
enabled, and do not indicate any form of IPv6 connectivity. That
is, performing DNS lookups only when a non-link-local address has
been configured on any interface could be beneficial -- this would be
an indication that either the address has been configured either from
a router advertisement, DHCPv6, or manually. Each would indicate at
least some form of IPv6 connectivity, even though there would not be
guarantees of it.
XXXX: are there any actual recommendations in here?!? :-)
5.2 Recursive DNS Server Discovery
Recursive IPv6 DNS server discovery is a subject of active debate at
the moment: the main proposed mechanisms include the use of
well-known addresses [18], the use of Router Advertisements to convey
the information [19], and using DHCPv6 (or the stateless subset of it
[20]) for DNS server configuration. No consensus has been reached
Note that IPv6 DNS server discovery, while an important topic, is not
required for dual-stack nodes with dual-stack networks: IPv6 DNS
records can very well be queried over IPv4.
5.3 IPv6 Transport Guidelines for Resolvers
As described in Section 1.3 and [3], the recursive resolvers should
be IPv4-only or dual-stack to be able to reach any IPv4-only DNS
server. Note that this requirement is also fulfilled by an IPv6-only
stub resolver pointing to a dual-stack recursive DNS resolver.
6. Considerations about Forward DNS Updating
While the topic how to enable updating the forward DNS, i.e., the
mapping from names to the correct new addresses, is not specific to
IPv6, it bears thinking about especially due to adding Stateless
Address Autoconfiguration [21] to the mix.
Typically forward DNS updates are more manageable than doing them in
the reverse DNS, because the updater can, typically, be assumed to
"own" a certain DNS name -- and we can create a form of security
association with the DNS name and the node allowed to update it to
point to a new address.
A more complex form of DNS updates -- adding a whole new name to a
DNS zone, instead of updating an existing one -- is considered
out-of-scope (XXX: at least for now, send text/feedback!).
6.1 Manual or Custom DNS Updates
The DNS mappings can be maintained by hand, in a semi-automatic
fashion or by running non-standardized protocols. These are not
considered at more length in this memo.
6.2 Dynamic DNS
Dynamic DNS updates (DDNS) [22][23] is a standardized mechanism for
dynamically updating the DNS. It works equally well with stateless
address autoconfiguration (SLAAC), DHCPv6 or manual address
configuration. The only (minor) twist that with SLAAC, the DNS
server cannot tie the authentication of the user to the IP address,
and stronger mechanisms must be used. Actually, relying on IP
addresses for Dynamic DNS is rather insecure at best, so this is
probably not a significant problem (but requires that the
authorization keying will be explicitly configured).
Note that the nodes must somehow be configured with the information
about the servers where they will attempt to update their addresses,
sufficient security material for authenticating themselves to the
server, and the hostname they will be updating. Unless otherwise
configured, the first could be obtained by looking up the authorative
name servers for the hostname; the second must be configured
explicitly unless one chooses to trust the IP address -based
authentication (not a good idea); and lastly, the nodename is
typically pre-configured somehow on the node, e.g. at install time.
Care should be observed when updating the addresses not to use longer
TTLs for addresses than are preferred lifetimes for the
autoconfigured addresses, so that if the node is renumberedin a
managed fashion, the amount of stale DNS information is kept to the
7. Considerations about Reverse DNS Updating
Forward DNS updating was rather straightforward; reverse DNS is
significantly trickier especially with certain mechanisms. However,
first it makes sense to look at the applicability of reverse DNS in
the first place.
7.1 Applicability of Reverse DNS
Today, some applications use reverse DNS to either look up some hints
about the topological information associated with an address (e.g.
resolving web server access logs), or as a weak form of a security
check, to get a feel whether the user's network administrator has
"authorized" the use of the address (on the premises that adding a
reverse record for an address would signal some form of
One additional, maybe slightly more useful applicability is ensuring
the reverse and forward DNS contents match and correspond to a
configured name or domain. As a security check, it is typically
accompanied by other mechanisms, such as a user/password login; the
main purpose of the DNS check is to weed out the majority of
unauthorized users, and if someone managed to bypass the checks, he
would still need to authenticate "properly".
It is not clear whether it makes sense to require or recommend that
reverse DNS records be updated. In many cases, it would just make
more sense to use proper mechanisms for security (or topological
information lookup) in the first place. At minimum, the applications
which use it as a generic authorization (in the sense that a record
exists at all) should be modified as soon as possible to avoid such
lookups completely.
7.2 Manual or Custom DNS Updates
Reverse DNS can be updated using manual or custom methods, naturally.
These are not further described here, except for one special case.
One way to deploy reverse DNS would be to use wildcard records, for
example, by configuring one name for a subnet (/64) or a site (/48).
Naturally, such a name could not be verified from the forward DNS,
but would at least provide some form of "topological information" or
"weak authorization" if that is really considered to be useful. Note
that this is not actually updating the DNS as such, as the whole
point is to avoid DNS updates completely by manual configuration of a
generic name.
7.3 DDNS with Stateless Address Autoconfiguration
Dynamic DNS with SLAAC is a bit complicated, but manageable with a
rather low form of security with some implementation.
Every node on a link must then be allowed to insert its own reverse
DNS record in the reverse zone. However, in the typical case, there
can be no stronger form of authentication between the nodes and the
server than the source IP address (the user may roam to other
administrative domains as well, requiring updates to foreign DNS
servers), which might make attacks more lucrative.
Moreover, the reverse zones must be cleaned up by some janitorial
process: the node does not typically know a priori that it will be
disconnected, and cannot send a DNS update using the correct source
address to remove a record.
7.4 DDNS With DHCP
With DHCP, the reverse DNS name is typically already inserted to the
DNS that reflects to the name (e.g., "dhcp-67.example.com").
If a more explicit control is required, similar considerations as
with SLAAC apply, except for the fact that typically one must update
a reverse DNS record instead of inserting one -- due to a denser
address assignment policy -- and updating a record seems like a
slightly more difficult thing to secure.
7.5 DDNS with Dynamic Prefix Delegation
In cases where more than one address is being used and updated, one
should consider where the updated server resides. That is, whether
the prefixes have been delegated to a node in the local site, or
whether they reside elsewhere, e.g., at the ISP. The reverse DNS
updates are typically easier to manage if they can be done within a
single administrative entity -- and therefore, if a reverse DNS
delegation has been made, it may be easier to enable reverse DNS at
the site, e.g. by a wildcard record, or by some DNS update mechanism.
8. Miscellaneous DNS Considerations
This section describes miscellaneous considerations about DNS which
seem related to IPv6, for which no better place has been found in
this document.
8.1 NAT-PT with DNS-ALG
NAT-PT [24] DNS-ALG is a critical component (unless something
replacing that functionality is specified) which mangles A records to
look like AAAA records to the IPv6-only nodes. Numerous problems have
been identified with DNS-ALG [25].
8.2 Renumbering Procedures and Applications' Use of DNS
One of the most difficult problems of renumbering procedures [26] is
that an application which gets a DNS name disregards information such
as TTL, and uses the result obtained from DNS as long as it happens
to be stored in the memory of the application. For applications
which run for a long time, this could be days, weeks or even months;
some applications may be clever enough to organize the data
structures and functions in such a manner that look-ups get refreshed
now and then. This is an issue with no clear solution.
9. Acknowledgements
Some recommendations (Section 4.3, Section 5.1) about IPv6 service
provisioning were moved here from [27] by Erik Nordmark and Bob
Gilligan. Havard Eidnes provided useful feedback and improvements.
10. Security Considerations
This document reviews the operational procedures for IPv6 DNS
operations and does not have security considerations in itself.
However, it is worth nothing that in particular with Dynamic DNS
Updates, security models based on the source address validation are
very weak and cannot be recommended. On the other hand, it should be
noted that setting up an authorization mechanism (e.g., a shared
secret, or public-private keys) between a node and the DNS server has
to be done manually, and may require quite a bit of time and
To re-emphasize which was already stated, reverse DNS checks provide
very weak security at best, and the only (questionable)
security-related use for them may be in conjunction with other
mechanisms when authenticating a user.
Normative References
[1] Thomson, S., Huitema, C., Ksinant, V. and M. Souissi, "DNS
Extensions to Support IP Version 6", RFC 3596, October 2003.
[2] Bush, R., Durand, A., Fink, B., Gudmundsson, O. and T. Hain,
"Representing Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) Addresses in
the Domain Name System (DNS)", RFC 3363, August 2002.
[3] Durand, A. and J. Ihren, "DNS IPv6 transport operational
guidelines", draft-ietf-dnsop-ipv6-transport-guidelines-01 (work
in progress), October 2003.
Informative References
[4] Bush, R., "Delegation of IP6.ARPA", BCP 49, RFC 3152, August
[5] Hinden, R. and S. Deering, "Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6)
Addressing Architecture", RFC 3513, April 2003.
[6] Huitema, C. and B. Carpenter, "Deprecating Site Local
Addresses", draft-ietf-ipv6-deprecate-site-local-02 (work in
progress), November 2003.
[7] Hazel, P., "IP Addresses that should never appear in the public
DNS", draft-ietf-dnsop-dontpublish-unreachable-03 (work in
progress), February 2002.
[8] Narten, T. and R. Draves, "Privacy Extensions for Stateless
Address Autoconfiguration in IPv6", RFC 3041, January 2001.
[9] Carpenter, B. and K. Moore, "Connection of IPv6 Domains via
IPv4 Clouds", RFC 3056, February 2001.
[10] Moore, K., "6to4 and DNS", draft-moore-6to4-dns-03 (work in
progress), October 2002.
[11] Bush, R. and J. Damas, "Delegation of",
draft-ymbk-6to4-arpa-delegation-00 (work in progress), February
[12] Morishita, Y. and T. Jinmei, "Common Misbehavior against DNS
Queries for IPv6 Addresses",
draft-morishita-dnsop-misbehavior-against-aaaa-00 (work in
progress), June 2003.
[13] Larson, M. and P. Barber, "Observed DNS Resolution
Misbehavior", draft-ietf-dnsop-bad-dns-res-01 (work in
progress), June 2003.
[14] Savola, P., "Moving from 6bone to IPv6 Internet",
draft-savola-v6ops-6bone-mess-01 (work in progress), November
[15] Roy, S., "Dual Stack IPv6 on by Default",
draft-ietf-v6ops-v6onbydefault-00 (work in progress), October
[16] Roy, S., "IPv6 Neighbor Discovery On-Link Assumption Considered
Harmful", draft-ietf-v6ops-onlinkassumption-00 (work in
progress), October 2003.
[17] Shin, M., "Application Aspects of IPv6 Transition",
draft-shin-v6ops-application-transition-02 (work in progress),
October 2003.
[18] Ohta, M., "Preconfigured DNS Server Addresses",
draft-ohta-preconfigured-dns-00 (work in progress), July 2003.
[19] Jeong, J., "IPv6 DNS Discovery based on Router Advertisement",
draft-jeong-dnsop-ipv6-dns-discovery-00 (work in progress),
July 2003.
[20] Droms, R., "A Guide to Implementing Stateless DHCPv6 Service",
draft-ietf-dhc-dhcpv6-stateless-01 (work in progress), October
[21] Thomson, S. and T. Narten, "IPv6 Stateless Address
Autoconfiguration", RFC 2462, December 1998.
[22] Vixie, P., Thomson, S., Rekhter, Y. and J. Bound, "Dynamic
Updates in the Domain Name System (DNS UPDATE)", RFC 2136,
April 1997.
[23] Wellington, B., "Secure Domain Name System (DNS) Dynamic
Update", RFC 3007, November 2000.
[24] Tsirtsis, G. and P. Srisuresh, "Network Address Translation -
Protocol Translation (NAT-PT)", RFC 2766, February 2000.
[25] Durand, A., "Issues with NAT-PT DNS ALG in RFC2766",
draft-durand-v6ops-natpt-dns-alg-issues-00 (work in progress),
February 2003.
[26] Baker, F., "Procedures for Renumbering an IPv6 Network without
a Flag Day", draft-baker-ipv6-renumber-procedure-01 (work in
progress), October 2003.
[27] Nordmark, E. and R. Gilligan, "Basic Transition Mechanisms for
IPv6 Hosts and Routers", draft-ietf-v6ops-mech-v2-01 (work in
progress), October 2003.
Authors' Addresses
Alain Durand Alain Durand
SUN Microsystems, Inc SUN Microsystems, Inc.
17 Network circle UMPK17-202 17 Network circle UMPL17-202
Menlo Park, CA, 94025 Menlo Park, CA 94025
Mail: Alain.Durand@sun.com
EMail: Alain.Durand@sun.com
Johan Ihren Johan Ihren
Autonomica Autonomica
Bellmansgatan 30 Bellmansgatan 30
SE-118 47 Stockholm, Sweden SE-118 47 Stockholm
Mail: johani@autonomica.se Sweden
11. References
[RFC1918] Address Allocation for Private Internets. Y. Rekhter, B.
Moskowitz, D. Karrenberg, G. J. de Groot, E. Lear. February
[RFC2766] Network Address Translation - Protocol Translation (NAT-
G. Tsirtsis, P. Srisuresh. February 2000.
[RFC3041] Privacy Extensions for Stateless Address Autoconfiguration
in IPv6,
T. Narten, R. Draves, January 2001.
[RFC3152] Delegation of ip6.arpa, R. Bush, August 2001. EMail: johani@autonomica.se
Pekka Savola
[RFC3363] Representing Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) Addresses Espoo
in the Domain Name System (DNS), R. Bush, A. Durand, B. Finland
Fink, O. Gudmundsson, T. Hain. August 2002.
[DYNREVERSE] Dynamic reverse DNS for IPv6, A. Durand, EMail: psavola@funet.fi
draft-durand-dnsops-dynreverse-00.txt, work in progress.
[DNS-ALG] Issues with NAT-PT DNS ALG in RFC2766, A. Durand, Appendix A. Site-local Addressing Considerations for DNS
draft-durand-v6ops-natpt-dns-alg-issues-00.txt, work in
[LOCAL] Operational Guidelines for "local" zones in the DNS, As site-local addressing is being deprecated, and it is not yet clear
Kato, A., Vixie, P., draft-kato-dnsop-local-zones-00.txt, whether an addressing-based replacement (and which kind) is devised,
work in progress. the considerations for site-local addressing are introduced here.
[ICMPNL] Use of ICMPv6 node information query for reverse DNS lookup, The interactions with DNS come in two flavors: forward and reverse
Jun-ichiro itojun Hagino, draft-itojun-ipv6-nodeinfo- DNS.
revlookup-00.txt, work in progress.
[IPv6ADDRARCH] IP Version 6 Addressing Architecture, R. Hinden, To actually use site-local addresses within a site, this implies the
draft-ipngwg-addr-arch-v3-11.txt, work in progress. deployment of a "split-faced" or a fragmented DNS name space, for the
zones internal to the site, and the outsiders' view to it. The
procedures to achieve this are not elaborated here. The implication
is that site-local addresses must not be published in the public DNS.
[6to4ARPA] Delegation of, Bush, R., Damas, J., To faciliate reverse DNS (if desired) with site-local addresses, the
draft-ymbk-6to4-arpa-delegation-00.txt, work in progress. stub resolvers must look for DNS information from the local DNS
servers, not e.g. starting from the root servers, so that the
site-local information may be provided locally. Note that the
experience private addresses in IPv4 has shown that the root servers
get loaded for requests for private address lookups in any case.
[6to4ReverseDNS] 6to4 and DNS, K. Moore, draft-moore-6to4-dns-03.txt, Intellectual Property Statement
work in progress.
[DNSdiscovery] Well known site local unicast addresses for DNS The IETF takes no position regarding the validity or scope of any
resolver, intellectual property or other rights that might be claimed to
A. Durand, J. hagano, D. Thaler, draft-ietf-ipv6-dns- pertain to the implementation or use of the technology described in
discovery-07.txt, work in progress. this document or the extent to which any license under such rights
might or might not be available; neither does it represent that it
has made any effort to identify any such rights. Information on the
IETF's procedures with respect to rights in standards-track and
standards-related documentation can be found in BCP-11. Copies of
claims of rights made available for publication and any assurances of
licenses to be made available, or the result of an attempt made to
obtain a general license or permission for the use of such
proprietary rights by implementors or users of this specification can
be obtained from the IETF Secretariat.
[DHCPv6DNS] DNS Configuration options for DHCPv6, Droms, R. The IETF invites any interested party to bring to its attention any
draft-ietf-dhc-dhcpv6-opt-dnsconfig-02.txt, work in copyrights, patents or patent applications, or other proprietary
progress. rights which may cover technology that may be required to practice
this standard. Please address the information to the IETF Executive
12. Full Copyright Statement Full Copyright Statement
"Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2001). All Rights Reserved. Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2003). All Rights Reserved.
This document and translations of it may be copied and furnished to This document and translations of it may be copied and furnished to
others, and derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain it others, and derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain it
or assist in its implementation may be prepared, copied, published or assist in its implementation may be prepared, copied, published
and distributed, in whole or in part, without restriction of any and distributed, in whole or in part, without restriction of any
kind, provided that the above copyright notice and this paragraph are kind, provided that the above copyright notice and this paragraph are
included on all such copies and derivative works. However, this included on all such copies and derivative works. However, this
document itself may not be modified in any way, such as by removing document itself may not be modified in any way, such as by removing
the copyright notice or references to the Internet Society or other the copyright notice or references to the Internet Society or other
Internet organizations, except as needed for the purpose of Internet organizations, except as needed for the purpose of
developing Internet standards in which case the procedures for developing Internet standards in which case the procedures for
copyrights defined in the Internet Standards process must be copyrights defined in the Internet Standards process must be
followed, or as required to translate it into languages other than followed, or as required to translate it into languages other than
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 End of changes. 

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