Window on WANs

Jun 6 2012   8:54AM GMT

IPv6 tests move to launching phase for World IPv6 Launch Day 2012

Tessa Parmenter Tessa Parmenter Profile: Tessa Parmenter

World IPv6 Launch badge

Today starts the new era of the Internet — an era in which “the world” comes together to launch the latest Internet protocol, IPv6. It is because the IP address space of it’s primaeval counterpart — IPv4 — is really running out. This limitation must force all, who are interested in providing content to the online community, to move to IPv6 and learn to love it.

Of course, no one can make you do this. No government mandate or religious cree can force an organization to make the switch to IPv6 — which is not backwards-compatible with IPv4. 

While there is no Internet authority, the next best thing is the Internet Society, and they have sponsored World IPv6 Launch Day — today, June 6, 2012 — to promote the new protocol.

The last World IPv6 Day (June 8, 2011) served as a test for IPv6 — to turn it on and find out where the kinks were; this year, organizations who participate in World IPv6 Launch Day — like Google and Facebook — have turned on IPv6 and plan to leave it on permanently.

“World IPv6 Launch Day is a lot larger than people understand. IPv6 is the single largest upgrade in the history of the Internet. It’s not a small decision for the major content providers to turn on IPv6 and leave it on. Going forward, Internet users will be forced to go through transition gateways to reach businesses that do not similarly upgrade by adding IPv6 connectivity, with the result being slower connections and services for their customers,” said John Curran, CEO and president of the American Registry of Internet Numbers (ARIN).

However, last year’s test bodes well for today. ARIN waited by the phones for issues to arise during IPv6 tests, but all they heard were crickets, Curran told me during this video interview about World IPv6 Launch Day.

“The good news is that, done properly, Internet users globally will not notice any significant difference in their daily lives,” he said.

In order to transition to IPv6 properly, enterprises need to have the right tools. On, we gathered resources for today to help organizations turn on IPv6:

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