[OpenAFS] rxgk and ipv6 (again)

Jeffrey Altman jaltman@your-file-system.com
Fri, 17 Aug 2012 21:34:30 -0400

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On 8/17/2012 10:30 AM, Troy Benjegerdes wrote:
> What's the status on a deployable version of:
> 1) rxgk (so I can fix my currently broken cell by upgrading AFS=20
>  instead of downgrading my kerberos server to support des)
> 2) ipv6 (so I can stop having to play silly VPN dance games which
>  just give me headaches and delays in filesystem access)
> Is there someone that can give me a support contract for this?

IPv6 support has been on the wish list for OpenAFS since before I made
my first contribution to the project in 2003.  On one hand it appears to
be a trivial change to make.  Just add a new address type to the
transport and you should be done.  The reality is something entirely
different because AFS is not a point to point client server protocol
such as telnet, ssh, http, etc.  Instead, it is a complex distributed
system which has IPv4 addresses embedded just about everywhere from the
database schemas, to the configuration files, to the ubik voting
algorithm, to RPC message formats, to the command line parsers, etc.

Adding an IPv6 address to a host that has an IPv4 address makes it
multi-homed and multi-homed systems are kind of supported for cache
manager to file server interactions but for a large class of other
service operations multi-homed support is practically non-existent.
As a result, adding IPv6 is non-trivial and effectively requires a
nearly complete re-write of the source tree.  To use IPv6 will require
new clients and new services.

Implementing IPv6 for some services and not others is not particularly
useful.  Neither is implementing it for some tools and not others.  This
complexity coupled with the fact that very few sites have IPv6 as a
major priority for their AFS deployment is why there has been so little
public progress.  In fact, I am unaware of any paying customer that has
seriously[*] inquired about it.  My current estimate for how long it
would take with a concerted effort just focused on IPv6 is 12 to 18
months and it probably would require more than that given the slow pace
of the AFS3 Standardization Process.

Jeffrey Altman

[*] A serious inquiry is one that includes an offer of funding or
developer resources to cover the majority of the associated development

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