The depletion of the IPv4 address pool has been on the horizon since 1994 when its successor IPv6 was first proposed, but because of CIDR and NAT – which were designed to delay the impact of IPv4 address depletion – IPv4 sufficed for much longer than initially anticipated.
The massive uptake of Internet enabled personal computing devices such as smart phones, tablet computers and laptops, is putting strain on the available IPv4 addressing resources. The number of machine-to-machine networks, such as smart electrical grids, has also been steadily climbing, also requiring plenty of IPv4 addresses. It is not surprising that IPv4 is living on borrowed time.
IANA (who run the global pool of addresses) gave out their last blocks of IPv4 addresses on 31 January 2011, and the Asia-Pacific region began rationing their IP allocations on 15 April 2011. The European and North American regions are both expected to run out of addresses before the end of 2011.
IPv6 deployment is now inevitable. The challenge is how to upgrade the core of the entire Internet without any downtime.
A number of large content providers have identified a rather concerning trend: up to 1% of all Internet users have IPv6 fully enabled on their local network without having a working path to the global IPv6 Internet. This can result in these users having no access to sites that enable IPv6.
World IPv6 Day
World IPv6 Day is a global initiative driven by ISOC and supported by Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, Akamai and Limelight Networks. The objective is to take IPv6 for a full test flight for 1 day.
This test flight will provide a large amount of test data that will be analysed to get a better understanding of how ready the Internet is for wide spread IPv6 rollout.
World IPv6 Day is also expected to provide motivation for people to fix all the ‘brokenness’ that currently exists unnoticed on the IPv6 Internet.
MyBroadband will join hundreds of other websites in turning on IPv6 for World IPv6 Day. This has been done through the use of Neology’s IPv6 translation gateway.
“Hetzner (MyBroadband’s hosting partner) and Neology worked closely together to enable IPv6 without requiring any major changes to the hosting infrastructure or any downtime,” said Graham Beneke, Systems Engineer at Neology.
RIPE has provided a test site that allows users to check if their Internet connection handles IPv6 enabled websites correctly.
Test-IPv6 also provides extensive testing and diagnostics to verify your Internet connection with or without an IPv6 enabled provider.