World IPv6 Day Today As Launch Unites Industry Leaders to Redefine Global Internet
Posted in: Domain Names at 06/06/2012 18:49
Today is the launch of World IPv6 Day, a day organised by the Internet Society to encourage deployment of IPv6 throughout the world. The day has the support of leading websites, ISPs, and home router equipment manufacturers.
There are now more devices connected to the internet than there are people, and the number of available IPv4 addresses is being rapidly exhausted. To ensure the internet can continue to grow and connect billions more people and devices around the world, thousands of companies and millions of websites have now permanently enabled the next generation of internet protocol (IPv6) for their products and services. Participants in World IPv6 Launch include the four most visited websites in the world - Google, Facebook, YouTube, and Yahoo! - as well as home router manufacturers and Internet Service Providers in more than 100 countries. By making IPv6 the "new normal," these companies are enabling millions of end users to enjoy its benefits without having to do anything themselves.
World IPv6 Launch is organised by the Internet Society as part of its mission to ensure that the Internet remains open and accessible for everyone - including the other five billion people not yet connected to the Internet.
"The support of IPv6 from these thousands of organizations delivers a critical message to the world: IPv6 is not just a 'nice to have'; it is ready for business today and will very soon be a 'must have,'" said Leslie Daigle, Chief Internet Technology Officer, Internet Society. "We believe that the commitment of these companies to deploy IPv6 will ensure that they remain industry leaders. Any company wishing to be effective in the new Internet should do the same."
The World IPv6 Day in 2011 was a 24-hour test that focused on websites. This year, World IPv6 Launch is a permanent commitment across the Internet industry, including ISPs and home networking equipment manufacturers around the world, laying the foundation to accelerate the deployment of IPv6 across the global Internet. Major websites are permanently enabling IPv6 starting 6 June 2012 at 0000 UTC on their main websites. ISPs will permanently enable IPv6 across a significant portion of their current and all new residential wireline subscribers. Home networking equipment manufacturers will enable IPv6 by default through their range of home router products, and recent commitments to IPv6 by companies beyond websites demonstrates a broader support of the new Internet Protocol.
The transition though "is incredibly hard, painstaking work by engineers looking to make sure that every line of code that 'knows' an IP address is 32 bits long in a certain format also 'knows' that it could also be in IPv6 format, 128 bits long," father of the internet and Google's Chief Internet Evangelist Vint Cerf told CNET. "This is a major accomplishment for ISPs and application providers around the world. The router and edge device providers have mostly done their homework years ago, but the ISPs and app providers are largely just getting there."
Cerf also said they had "hoped for much earlier implementation [of IPv6]. It would have been so much easier. But people had not run out of IPv4 and NAT boxes."
When developing IPv4, Cerf said that he and Bob Kahn "estimated that there might be two national-scale packet networks per country and perhaps 128 countries able to build them, so 8 bits sufficed for 256 network identifiers. Twenty-four bits allowed for up to 16 million hosts. At that time, hosts were big, expensive time-sharing systems, so 16 million seemed like a lot. We did consider variable length and 128-bit addressing in 1977 but decided that this would be too much overhead for the relatively low-speed lines (50 kilobits per second). I thought this was still an experiment and that if it worked we would then design a production version. The experiment lasted until 2011, and now we are launching the production IPv6 on June 6."
The last blocks of the 4.3 billion IP addresses enabled by the current Internet Protocol (IPv4) were assigned to the Regional Internet Registries in February 2011. Already there is no remaining IPv4 address space to be distributed in the Asia Pacific region, and very soon the rest of the globe will follow. IPv4 address space is expected to run out in Europe this year, in the U.S. next year, and in Latin America and Africa in 2014. IPv6 provides more than 340 trillion, trillion, trillion addresses (an essentially unlimited number or alternatively 2 to the 128th power, or 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 addresses), which will help connect the billions of people that are not connected today, allow a wide range of devices to connect directly with one another, and help ensure the Internet can continue its current growth rate indefinitely.
For more information about World IPv6 Launch and the participating companies, as well as links to useful information for users and how other companies can participate in the continued deployment of IPv6, visit: www.worldipv6launch.org