World IPv6 Day – Trial of IPv6 Support Across Web Giants

Today, the 8th June 2011, is the biggest ever trial of the new address system, IPv6. World IPv6 Day is mainly a technical exercise between large internet organisations to see how the technology works and hopefully raising awareness of the issue and reasoning for IPv6.

This trial day is being led by The Internet Society, in collaboration with internet giants such as Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, Akamai, Limelight Networks and others. These giants have come together today to enable IPv6 on their main websites for 24 hours. The goal is to motivate organisations and companies across the internet and networking industries to prepare their services for IPv6.

Why do we need IPv6, I hear you ask? Since the early days of the internet, all addressing has handle with a technology called the Internet Protocol (IP, more specifically IPv4). This addressing system has work very well for us over the past years. However, as with any addressing system, we are now running out of free addresses. This is due to an ever increasing number of websites and servers being connected to the internet. In fact it’s predicted that we’ll run out of IPv4 address this year! When this happens (and without IPv6) we risk increased costs and limited online functionality for internet users everywhere. The only long-term solution is to start using IPv6, which provides over 4 billion times more addressing space then Ipv4. We won’t run out anytime soon.

IPv6 is already used extensively in many large networks, but it hasn’t ever been used on a global scale like today’s trial. Today should help internet players work together to support IPv6 on an accelerated timeline. With major web companies enabling IPv6 on their main websites, it creates strong incentives for other companies and organisations to ensure their systems are prepared.

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