Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Why IPv6 Is Indispensable At LinkedIn

Last week, in the heart of Silicon Valley, there was a gathering of individuals in one of LinkedIn's spacious office locations. Everyone in attendance was there to hear about LinkedIn's experience deploying and operating a production IPv6 network.

We were lucky enough to have some IPv6 rock stars in the room, like Scott Hogg (co-author of IPv6 Security from Cisco Press and Chair Emeritus of the Rocky Mountain IPv6 Task Force) and Rick Graziani (author of IPv6 Fundamentals from Cisco Press). On the LinkedIn side, we had Stephanie Schuller (known for her baking as well as her IPv6 program skills) and Zaid Ali Kahn (leading the effort of IPv6 adoption in production), along with a host of other LinkedIn staff who all worked on the IPv6 production deployment.

A panel of LinkedIn staffers answered IPv6 questions from the audience on a wide range of topics, such as application challenges, load balancing, quality of geo-location data, data storage methods, regular expressions, what format to store addresses, and testing challenges. There were also some discussions around regional provider-independent address advertisement. Panelists included Qi Liu (applications), Dawn Baker (geo-location, DNS, CDNs), Ajay Srivastava (data), Franck Martin (email), and Prashanth Kumar (network).

I was excited to hear about how LinkedIn was able to tackle the problem, explain the impact and importance to all levels of management, and share their success around the project. Because LinkedIn has a huge mobile initiative (the majority of its user base uses a mobile app in addition to the website), they are directly affected by the changes happening in the mobile provider marketplace with the shift to IPv6-only networks.

Being able to provide LinkedIn services over IPv6 allows better visibility and service delivery to customers who are on IPv6-only mobile network providers. It also avoids translation and proxy services that can slow down or interfere with the user experience.

Schuller also discussed some of the motivational factors the company used to help all its teams prioritize IPv6. Some of the compelling reasons she listed were:

  1. Our entire business model relies on the Internet. If we don't keep up with Internet technology, what kind of business strategy is that?
  2. Mobile is going IPv6. Our market is moving -- you can't hold back market forces.
  3. Our industry peers are already doing it.
  4. It will be harder later when we're bigger.
  5. There's a security problem with IPv4. IPv4's CG-NAT voids key defenses.

Clearly, LinkedIn -- like many content and web-focused companies -- has to address what is happening with mobile, and IPv6 is a natural part of that. What was impressive is how well they were able to organize themselves and rally the troops to tackle the adoption head on. It is neat to hear about, and an example others can emulate in the move to IPv6. More impressive still were Khan's ambitions of moving toward a future of IPv6-only data center solutions.

I want to express my thanks to the LinkedIn team for hosting the California IPv6 Task Force meetup and sharing their lessons learned. I encourage others to take the challenge and start implementing on an IPv6 plan. For help and resources, start at:

I hope to see you at the next IPv6 event telling everyone how you did your deployment. In the meantine, share your experiences and questions in the comments below.