IPv6 Milestone: "World IPv6 Launch Day"

January 19, 2012

On Tuesday, the Internet Society announced "World IPv6 Launch Day", a huge step in the transition from IPv4 to IPv6. Scheduled for June 6, 2012, this "launch day" comes almost one year after the similarly noteworthy World IPv6 Day, during which many prominent Internet businesses enabled IPv6 AAAA record resolution for their primary websites for a 24-hour period.

With IPv6 Day serving as a "test run," we confirmed a lot of what we know about IPv6 compatibility and interoperability with deployed systems throughout the Internet, and we even learned about a few areas that needed a little additional attention. Access troubles for end-users was measured in fractions of a percentage, and while some sites left IPv6 running, many of them ended up disabling the AAAA IPv6 records at the end of the event, resuming their legacy IPv4-only configuration.

We're past the "testing" phase now. Many of the IPv6-related issues observed in desktop operating systems (think: your PCs, phones, and tablets) and consumer network equipment (think: your home router) have been resolved. In response – and in an effort to kick IPv6 deployment in the butt – the same businesses which ran the 24-hour field test last year have committed to turning on IPv6 for their content and keeping it on as of 6/6/2012.

But that's not all, folks!

In the past, IPv6 availability would have simply impacted customers connecting to the Internet from a few universities, international providers and smaller technology-forward ISPs. What's great about this event is that a significant number of major broadband ISPs (think: your home and business Internet connection) have committed to enabling IPv6 to their subscribers. June 6, 2012, marks a day where at least 1% of the participating ISPs' downstream customers will be receiving IPv6 addresses.

While 1% may not seem all that impressive at first, in order to survive the change, these ISPs must slowly roll out IPv6 availability to ensure that they can handle the potential volume of resulting customer support issues. There will be new training and technical challenges that I suspect all of these ISPs will face, and this type of approach is a good way to ensure success. Again, we must appreciate that the ISPs are turning it on for good now.

What does this mean for SoftLayer customers? Well the good news is that our network is already IPv6-enabled ... In fact, it has been so for a few years now. Those of you who have taken advantage of running a dual-stack of IPv4 and IPv6 addresses may have noticed surprisingly low IPv6 traffic volume. When 6/6/2012 comes around, you should see that volume rise (and continue to rise consistently from there). For those of you without IPv6 addresses, now's the time to get started and get your feet wet. You need to be prepared for the day when new "eyeballs" are coming online with IPv6-only addresses. If you don't know where to start, go back through this article and click on a few of the hyperlinks, and if you want more information, ARIN has a great informational IPv6 wiki that has been enjoying community input for a couple years now.

The long term benefit of this June 6th milestone is that with some of the "big guys" playing in this space, the visibility of IPv6 should improve. This will help motivate the "little guys" who otherwise couldn't get motivated – or more often couldn't justify the budgetary requirements – to start implementing IPv6 throughout their organizations. The Internet is growing rapidly, and as our collective attentions are focused on how current legislation (SOPA/PIPA) could impede that growth, we should be intentional about fortifying the Internet's underlying architecture.

-Dani

Comments

January 19th, 2012 at 2:53pm

... And yet, trying to get IPv6 on an any Unix control panel (cPanel especially) is an exercise in futility. A Feature request for years, it won't be implemented for at least a few more versions....

And lets not forget SSL SNI. Windows XP has done enough damage in its lack of support to effectively kill that as an option for all but the smallest sites.

We're in 2012 and we're still fighting the Chicken and the Egg problem.

January 19th, 2012 at 3:18pm

"significant number of major broadband ISPs" Is there a list because I'd like to know who.

January 20th, 2012 at 12:10pm

Well, I'm motivated. Hopefully the whole SOPA controversy will die down by then.

May 20th, 2012 at 8:41pm

Yeah, ready aside from the hardware firewall. What about that?

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Comments

January 19th, 2012 at 2:53pm

... And yet, trying to get IPv6 on an any Unix control panel (cPanel especially) is an exercise in futility. A Feature request for years, it won't be implemented for at least a few more versions....

And lets not forget SSL SNI. Windows XP has done enough damage in its lack of support to effectively kill that as an option for all but the smallest sites.

We're in 2012 and we're still fighting the Chicken and the Egg problem.

January 19th, 2012 at 3:18pm

"significant number of major broadband ISPs" Is there a list because I'd like to know who.

January 20th, 2012 at 12:10pm

Well, I'm motivated. Hopefully the whole SOPA controversy will die down by then.

May 20th, 2012 at 8:41pm

Yeah, ready aside from the hardware firewall. What about that?

Leave a Reply

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