Tomorrow is World IPv6 Day, and we, here at Sandvine, are excited to be taking part and will also be tracking IPv6 Internet activity throughout the event day!
World IPv6 Day gives companies, that are passionate about the Internet, an opportunity to take part in a broad trial that will help prepare for, and raise awareness of, the transition from IPv4 to IPv6.
What is IPv6?
With IPv4, IP addresses are 32-bits long (ex. 220.127.116.11), and because of the explosive growth in web connected devices, almost all of the 4.29 billion possible IPv4 addresses have been used up. In fact, since the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) handed out the last IPv4 addresses in February, there has even become a resale market for IPv4 address blocks.
Because the numerical limitation on IPv4 was known, work began in the late 1990s on IPv6, the protocol that will eventually take its place. Unlike IPv4, IPv6 addresses should never run out as they are 128-bits in size which creates an incredible 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 possible IPs.
What is the purpose of World IPv6 Day?
The main goal of World IPv6 day is to conduct one large IPv6 experiment. By having many of the major Internet companies simultaneously enable IPv6 on their websites, under controlled settings, it will provide the opportunity to find, fix, and learn from any issues that arise. Additionally, the day will serve as an opportunity to raise awareness of the eventual transition to IPv6 that all Internet-connected companies will eventually have to make.
Sandvine has jumped into the fray of 418 participating companies, which include Internet and Communications Service Providers, networking equipment vendors, research organizations, and others interested to test out their IPv6 readiness. Our corporate sites, including www.sandvine.com, are now accessible on both IPv4 and IPv6, and our products are now updated to measure and report on IPv6 traffic of participating consumers.
How will World IPv6 Day impact the average Internet user?
World IPv6 Day should have no impact on the average user. Web sites, ISPs, hardware vendors, and software developers will be making most of the changes behind the scenes and will have both IPv4 and IPv6 turned on, to help ensure compatibility and Internet connectivity. Techie users who are keen to try out their IPv6 enabled devices and equipment can surf the web checking IPv6 sites.
So, what will Internet activity look like tomorrow when IPv6 gets turned on en masse? We’ll be working hard all day to crunch the data in order to answer that very question. Be sure to check back tomorrow afternoon when we will post some of our early findings, after which we will follow-up with a Global Internet Phenomena Spotlight. Until then, you can test your IPv6 connectivity and your ability to reach IPv6 test sites, at the publicly available IPv6 test page. You can also learn more about World IPv6 Day at the official site.