IPv6 is an extended addressing system for networks. It provides 3.4 x 1038 addresses (about 670 quadrillion addresses for every square mm of the entire surface of our planet), compared to 4.29 x 109 for IPv4, the existing protocol (not even one single IP address per person on Earth). Herein lies the justification alone for converting existing networks to the new IPv6 protocol.
IPv6 was announced and then disappeared. Today it is back again, but is not going anywhere this time. The Internet Society gave a public announcement Tuesday of the “World IPv6 Launch Day”. It is the beginning of the last stage of transitioning out of IPv4 and into IPv6. This launch day is still a little more than five months off, due June 6, but it is quite nearly a year following a 24-hour test run of the IP protocol. At that time quite a number of high profile businesses activated IPv6 AAAA record resolution on the domain for their main websites.
This IPv6 Day, last year, served as a confirmation about the hypotheses regarding interoperability across the Internet with already deployed computer systems. However, not everything went as expected. There were access difficulties, but they amounted to only a fraction of 1%. Most of those companies who participated in the event turned off IPv6, though a handful kept it operating. Those who turned it off reverted to the IPv4 legacy setup.
The dating period is finished. We are into the engagement period of our relationship with our newly beloved IPv6. Quite a few troubles that were connected to the operating systems of PC’s and portable devices, as well as those related to network devices, such as routers, have been adequately addressed and implemented. Now many of the same business who participated in the test last year have switched back on IPv6 and will run it even up to June 6th.
Typically, you might expect IPv6 to affect those utilizing universities, or international and the small, advanced thinking tech companies. On June 6th, though, we are talking about something much bigger. The major ISP companies will be activating IPv6, not only at their root servers, but along the line down to the customer level. About one percent of you will have IPv6 addresses after June 6th.
Here is the catch. They are only applying it to a mere dribble of customers in order to test it again. As customers complain and problems arise in these customers’ connection issues, the ISP’s will try to adapt to the situations and create solutions. Then, as they can solve more of the problems, they will apply IPv6 to more customers and fix further issues as they present themselves.
I do not think ISP’s should be congratulated for this approach, because it means those customers will suffer for us all. This should be a voluntary program with incentives. However, with the major ISP’s getting onboard, it will motivate smaller ones to just in order to stay competitive. They will not want to be labeled inadequate because they refused to adopt a technology all the major players activated, and which was easily accessible to them. Every company will have to follow suit.