Yesterday was World IPv6 day and a few companies and ISPs made the big move to IPv6. It’s considered to be a really big move for the Internet, but there have been many companies who haven’t made the move, just yet. The reason IPv6 is being adopted is because of the problem of IP address shortage. There is a limitation on the number of IPs that can be supported by the existing IPv4 standard and going by the increasing number of devices, the web is going to run out of IP addresses this year. IPv6 is here to provide a solution to this problem. It requires the entire Internet, which is a lot of connections, everything from devices to service providers to switch to the new standard. The IPv6 standard can support some 340000000000000000000000000000000000000 IP addresses, which means that you can have these many devices connected to the web with a unique IP address for each one.
Major sites, such as Time Warner, AT&T, D-Link, Google, Cisco, Facebook, Bing and Yahoo! were participating in the transition. However, many other popular mainstream sites didn’t make the move as well. They’re likely to make the move slowly, as time goes by. As of now, all the services that moved to IPv6 will still be accessible via connections using IPv4.
IPv6 transition has begun
The IPv6 launch site had a bunch of reactions from leading IT companies. “Last year’s industry-wide test of IPv6 successfully showed that the global adoption of IPv6 is the best way to keep web devices communicating in the future. Permanently enabling IPv6 is vital to keeping the Internet open and ensuring people stay connected online as the number of web users and devices continues to grow.”, said Jay Parikh, VP of Infrastructure Engineering at Facebook.
Vint Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist at Google had this to say about IPv6 implementation. “World IPv6 Launch marks a watershed moment in Internet history. It breaks the limits of the original address space to open a vast new territory, trillions upon trillions of times larger, and reinforces the end-to-end architecture that made the Internet so powerful at the beginning. Google strongly supports this upgrade. We’re happy to see that everyone is moving to the 21st-century Internet!”
On World IPv6 day, which was held on the 8th of June 2011, Internet companies indulged in a test – a technical exercise – to try their hands on their new address. A few popular services, namely Google, Facebook, Yahoo! and Akamai decided to test out IPv6, along with the Internet Society, an organization which handles Internet standards. The exercise was done to eliminate any issues that might crop up during the worldwide transition to IPv6, which currently has provisions for about four billion IPs.
For those who’ve gotten enterprising and have jumped on to the IPv6 bandwagon, the regular URLs should be accessible, anyway. ISPs everywhere, running outdated hardware, too will have to gear up to this impending change, and get in new hardware that would support the new addresses.
As far as the end user experience is concerned, there won’t be anything new with their Internet connections. Existing IPv4 addresses were made up of a sequence of four sets of numbers. IPv6 will assign six sets of numbers to different PCs. The move will virtually provide a really large number of IP addresses, something that won’t be exhausted anytime soon. IPv4 was started some 20 years back.
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