IPv6: Broken by Design; Digital Ocean - How are we doing?

Recently, Digital Ocean (which I am a customer of) asked me "how they were doing". Well, yet another survey... Let's ignore this one for now... I thought some days ago.

And then yesterday, I added IPv6 support to my main mail server (which runs at Hetzner, Germany). All my hosted/rented/whatever systems report back to this main mailserver. Now that that main mail server finally has its AAAA record and its own IPv6 address, all associated systems try to reach this main mail server via IPv6. Of course.

Crippling IPv6 support by adding Port Blocks

But, then, I see messages like these in my syslog files on droplets hosted at Digital Ocean:

Apr 13 10:10:59 <do-droplet> postfix/smtp[23469]: connect to mail.<mydomain>[<ipv6-address>]:25: Connection timed out

After some more research [1], I realized that the folks out there at DO really apply some port blockings to IPv6 networks, but not to IPv4 networks. Pardon me? From my DO droplets, I can nmap any port on my mail server (25,80,143,443, 465, 587, etc.) via the IPv4 connection, but not over the IPv6 connection. Wait, not fully true: ports 80 and 443 are not blocked, but the other aforementioned ports are definitely blocked.

Is Digital Ocean a professional ISP or a WiFi hotspot provider at my nearest coffee place? (This really makes me scratch my head...).

Routing only the first 16 addresses of allocated /64 prefixes

The above was the second IPv6 brokeness I learned about DO, recently. An earlier issue with DO's IPv6 support, I encountered while I was deploying an IPv6 capable OpenVPN internet gateway via a droplet hosted at DO. Digital Ocean assigns full IPv6 /64 prefixes to each individual droplet (which is great), but only properly routes the first 16 IP addresses of such a /64 prefix [2]. Urgh? I had to work around this flaw by adding an IPv6-over-IPv4 tunnel and attaching an IPv6 /56 prefix obtained from Hurricane Electrics' tunnel broker service [3] to the OpenVPN server.

Thanks, Digital Ocean, for reminding me about giving feedback

So, today, I luckily received a reminder mail about DO's yet-another-survey survey. My opportunity!!! Here is the feedback, I gave:

DO service is basically good.

BUT: You as a provider SUCK when it comes to IPv6.

(1) http://pixelschatten.net/blocked-ipv6-ports/

-> SMTP/IMAP traffic blocked over IPv6, but not over IPv4... WTF?). I normally have all my systems report back to my main mail server. I expect this to work as it is the default on all Linux hosts nowadays, and that is: prefer IPv6 over IPv4.

(2) https://digitalocean.uservoice.com/forums/136585-digitalocean/suggestion...

-> Droplets get a full /64 prefix assigned, but only the first 16 addresses (or such) get routed properly. WTF?

Please do your homework on IPv6 and don't cripple your service by offering crippled IPv6 support.

I tell people, DO is great, but their IPv6 support is broken-by-design. Let me know, once this is about to change.

Mike Gabriel (aka sunweaver at debian dot org, Debian Developer)

Apology for the tone of the wording

Now reading the feedback given, I realize that my tone has been quite impolite. I am sorry about this. However, the experienced IPv6 issues are indeed annoying. So please excuse me for having expressed my annoyance with such harsh words. And... I am still annoyed about myself paying an ISP for such a crippled IPv6 support. (I need to consider migrating the VMs to another hoster, unless there will be some dynamics observable in the near future).

@Digital Ocean: Keep up the good work that you do in the realm of VM hosting. Evolve and grow up in the realm of IPv6 networking. Thank you!


[1] http://pixelschatten.net/blocked-ipv6-ports/
[2] https://digitalocean.uservoice.com/forums/136585-digitalocean/suggestion...
[3] https://tunnelbroker.net/