Facebook, Google and Yahoo websites are joining major content
delivery networks Akamai and Limelight Networks, and the Internet
Society, for the first global-scale trial of the new Internet
On June 8, 2011, dubbed "World IPv6 Day," participants will enable
IPv6 on their main services for 24 hours. With IPv4 addresses running
out this year, the industry must act quickly to accelerate full IPv6
adoption or risk increased costs and limited functionality online for
Internet users everywhere. The companies are coming together to help
motivate organizations across the industry - Internet service
providers, hardware manufacturers, operating system vendors and other
web companies - to prepare their services for the transition.
The Internet Society, a non-profit organisation founded in 1992 to
provide Internet-related standards, education and policy, is
supporting World IPv6 Day as part of its efforts to accelerate IPv6
IPv6, the successor to the protocol currently used on the Internet,
was designed in the late 1990s but has not seen deployment on a
global scale. With IPv4 address space running out, the industry
cannot afford to wait much longer.
Google has offered a separate IPv6-only version of search on
ipv6.google.com since early 2008, and during World IPv6 Day the
company will enable IPv6 for its main websites, including
www.google.com and www.youtube.com.
World IPv6 Day marks a key milestone in enabling more and more
computers and smart phones to come online. IPv6 provides over four
billion times more addresses than IPv4, which will help connect the
billions of people not connected today.
Facebook views the rollout of IPv6 as a critically important step to
keep the world connected. "As an industry, we?re working together to
ensure future generations continue to have open and direct access to
the Internet as we do today," said Jonathan Heiliger, Vice President
of Technical Operations at Facebook. "The number of web-connected
devices is exploding, and World IPv6 Day is a crucial step in
ensuring they can all communicate."
One of the goals of World IPv6 Day is to expose potential issues
under controlled conditions and address them as soon as possible. The
vast majority of users should be able to access services as usual,
but in rare cases, misconfigured or misbehaving network equipment,
particularly in home networks, may impair access to participating
websites during the trial. Current estimates are that 0.05% of users
may experience such problems, but participating organizations will be
working together with operating system manufacturers, home router
vendors and ISPs to minimize the number of users affected.
Participants will also be working together to provide tools to detect
problems and offer suggested fixes in advance of the trial.