With over 300,000 daily listings, e-commerce poster child TradeMe is a site of considerable consequence. The company pumps out an astonishing 6TB of data onto the Internet every day, and each week between 20 and 30 changes are pushed to its website.
Speaking at today’s Computerworld New Zealand IPv6 event, the company’s Head of Infrastructure Matt van Deventer gave a candid account of TradeMe’s early and ongoing experiences with adopting IPv6.
The company began its IPv6 journey in 2008 with the purchase of a number of switches and load-balancers. As van Deventer explains, “we decided from that point on to make sure all our equipment purchases were IPv6-enabled”.
When it came to implementation, TradeMe first made sure its hardware and software supported IPv6, as well as its internal and external applications. A number of internal apps however proved difficult as they were IPv4-based and needed to be untangled. Some third party external apps were also challenging, he says.
They persevered, and in 2009 TradeMe replaced several routers and Internet gateways for its corporate environment. Later that year a series of vendor updates were released but, unfortunately, these had limited IPv6 support.
At the time, many vendors had “ticked the box” saying their product supported IPv6, but in reality there was limited v6 functionality, says van Deventer.
The following years saw several more road-blocks; some expected some unexpected. Later this year however will be a watershed, when TradeMe takes delivery of a number of brand new IPv6-enabled routers. van Deventer says these will be installed once received; probably not without issues, but “as a good Internet citizen, adopting IPv6 is the right thing to do”.
From TradeMe’s perspective, van Deventer describes IPv6 as having been hard but worth doing. “Our general approach has been to mandate IPv6 support in all our procurement. We will continue to work on our applications, with any new software being written having to cater for dual-stack”.
Not yet fully IPv6-enabled, the company is getting closer, says van Deventer. Watch this space.