Major websites commit to 24-hour test flight for IPv6

Date: Mon, 03/14/2011 - 20:09

Major websites commit to 24-hour test flight for IPv6

“World IPv6 Day” to take place on June 8, 2011

Facebook, Google and Yahoo, websites with more than one billion combined visits each day, are joining major content delivery networks Akamai and Limelight Networks, and the Internet Society, for the first global-scale trial of the new Internet Protocol, IPv6. 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 is supporting World IPv6 Day as part of its efforts to accelerate IPv6 deployment. “2011 is a pivotal year in IPv6 deployment, and World IPv6 Day will prove to be an important milestone,” commented Leslie Daigle, the Internet Society’s Chief Internet Technology officer. “By providing an opportunity for the Internet industry to collaborate to test IPv6 readiness we expect to lay the groundwork for large-scale IPv6 adoption and help make IPv6 ready for prime time. The greater the scope of the trial, the more effective it will be for all participants so we wholeheartedly welcome additional participants.”
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.
Vint Cerf, Google’s Chief Internet Evangelist and co-inventor of the TCP/IP protocol stack, commented, “In the short history of the Internet, the transition to IPv6 is one of the most important steps we will take together to protect the Internet as we know it. It’s as if the Internet was originally designed with a limited number of telephone numbers, and we’re soon going to run out.” Google has offered a separate IPv6-only version of search on since early 2008, and during World IPv6 Day the company will enable IPv6 for its main websites, including and
Given the diversity of technology that powers the Internet, the global nature of the trial is crucial to identify unforeseen problems. “Participating in World IPv6 Day will allow us to obtain real-life data that we can use to ensure a seamless user experience as we transition to IPv6,” said Adam Bechtel, Vice President for Yahoo’s Infrastructure Group. “We welcome this opportunity to collaborate with the technical community and provide leadership in addressing the scaling challenges facing the Internet.”
World IPv6 Day marks a key milestone in enabling more and more computers and smart phones to come online. As more of the world moves online, IPv6 will be critical for the Internet to reach its full potential as a catalyst for growth, innovation and economic prosperity. 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.”
Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM), a leading provider of cloud optimization services, will enable customers to participate in World IPv6 Day. “IPv6 adoption is still in its infancy,” said Harald Prokop, Senior Vice President of Engineering at Akamai. “We stand ready to support customers through this important trial, and believe that early planning and testing will ensure a smooth transition to IPv6.” To support the transition to IPv6, Akamai customers will be able to seamlessly make their existing websites available via IPv6 without requiring disruptive changes to their origin networking infrastructure.
Tom Coffeen, Director of Global Network Architecture for Limelight Networks, said, “As part of our ongoing commitment to IPv6, Limelight Networks today is actively delivering customer content over the world’s first fully IPv6-compliant content delivery service. We are pleased to participate in World IPv6 Day to encourage the adoption of IPv6 across the Internet and to transform address resource challenges into innovation and competitive advantage for our customers.”
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.

About the need for IPv6
IPv4 has approximately four billion IP addresses (the sequence of numbers assigned to each Internet-connected device). The explosion in the number of people, devices and web services on the Internet means that IPv4 is running out of space. IPv6, the next-generation Internet protocol, which provides over four billion times more space, will connect the billions of people not connected today and will help ensure the Internet can continue its current growth rate.

For more information about World IPv6 Day, how to get involved, and links to useful information for users, visit

Above, image credited to ITU

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