TrueNAS has broadly supported IPv6 for over ten years. IPv6 clients can access NFS, SMB, S3, and WebDav shares on TrueNAS CORE, Enterprise, or SCALE. However, that support generally assumed that TrueNAS was used on dual-stack networks with both IPv4 and IPv6 access. With the introduction of TrueNAS SCALE, TrueNAS is now embracing IPv6-only networks.
Capabilities that were previously IPv4-only are now being made available via IPv6. Examples of these are:
- Software updates via the WebUI in CORE, Enterprise, and SCALE
- Pro-active support in TrueNAS Enterprise
- HA dual-controllers in TrueNAS SCALE
Why is IPv6 Interesting?
IPv6 is the Internet’s solution to the 32-bit addressing limitation of IPv4. The shorter 32-bit addresses are both hard to acquire and less structured. It’s difficult to determine the organization or country that an end-point comes from. IPv6 addresses are 128-bit and very structured. They are expressed in groups of 4 hexadecimals, which makes them less readable that the typical IPv4 address (e.g 192.168.0.1).
With 128-bits, IPv6 addresses are split into a network (64-bit) and node (64-bit). The network address is split into 48-bits for the global organization. The Global Unicast addresses are assigned as blocks to ISPs, who then allocate them to their customers. Organizations can then assign the Local subnet IDs and route them within their own VPNs. Many large organizations and ISPs find that security is much simpler with this model.
Adoption of IPv6 has been steadily rising to the point where some organizations are becoming IPv6 only. Google provides statistics on access via IPv6 and now sees over 35% of its traffic using IPv6.
TrueNAS Fully Embraces IPv6-Only
Looking at this uptake and the technical benefits of a larger Internet, TrueNAS must embrace IPv6 and enable users to fully utilize this technology without a dual-stack approach. The major IPv6-only improvements being made are:
Software Updates: Previously, IPv6 users could download a new iso and apply a software update. Now, the webUI will connect to the update server and provide the point-and-click experience for new updates in TrueNAS CORE, Enterprise, or SCALE.
Pro-active Support: For users with Enterprise Support contracts, the Proactive support system will now be able to connect via IPv6 to iX’s support systems. Drive failures, power events, and temperature alerts will all be automatically communicated without the need for IPv4.
High Availability: The HA with TrueNAS Enterprise relies on the CARP protocol that was engineered for IPv4. With the rewrite of HA for TrueNAS SCALE and Linux, that protocol has been re-engineered to support IPv6. This enables HA without a dual-stack model. Enterprise customers with a strong intention to move to IPv6 will be encouraged to use TrueNAS SCALE rather than TrueNAS 13.0.
There will be other projects that can make better use of IPv6, including TrueCommand. These will be tackled in future releases. Let us know of any other issues that impact you.
The TrueNAS IPv6 improvements should have a positive impact on your IPv6 systems. If you have any questions or comments, we’d love to hear them on the community forums, on the TrueNAS subreddit, or in response to this blog. If you need additional information on how TrueNAS can streamline, accelerate, and unify data management for your business, contact us.