Post-Event – World IPv6 Day Review
World IPv6 Day has come and gone, and overall has been a great success. Reports of IPv6 problems were almost non-existent, and IPv6 traffic volumes were significantly higher. Awareness was raised in the business, technical, and end-user communities about this important upgrade to the Internet platform. Just a few key takeaways from the event:
- The success of the event is mostly a validation that organizations that have deployed IPv6 have done a good job, introducing little “brokenness” into the network function or performance by “dual-stacking” their networks and systems. Note these are organization that probably followed a good process – starting early, planning methodically, and working methodically. Many have had staff involved in the IPv6 effort for years.
- It also validates that standards are well-established and provide for good interoperability between systems and that vendors have done a good job of implementing IPv6 into their products in a predictable and compliant way.
- One outcome provides both good and bad news. The good news is that IPv6 traffic volume were up – as would be expected – and shows that there are some IPv6 implementations “in the wild”. The bad news is the traffic increase was not big – many organizations remain IPv4-only. These organizations must continue to evaluate the benefits of IPv6 deployment and the risks to lagging other organizations. In a world where IPv4 address exhaustion at IANA has been reached, with regional blocks soon to be depleted as well, the networking community remains far behind where we should be, collectively, to have dual-stack capability fully deployed and proven.
IPv6 projects take time to do right – years not months for most large organizations – and can be quite expensive to run. The key is to start early, plan carefully, and make steady progress. A clean project start, training for staff, and guidance from experts – especially early – are keys to success.
Overall, however, World IPv6 Day is a big success. Some Internet properties are remaining dual-stack from this point forward. For others, there is already talk of “World IPv6 Week” late this year. I am predicting we are only about 12 months from most big content providers going dual-stack entirely. We still have much work to do as a community.
The pre-event content will stay up for awhile to provide insight into the overall event.
Salient is joining such major organizations as Facebook, Yahoo! and Google in offering all of our web content over Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) on June 8th. This “24-hour test flight” is sponsored by the Internet Society to help motivate organizations to get prepared for this major transition.
At Salient, this is not a one-day event. We have spent years working with Defense and Intelligence agencies to prepare for a successful and secure transition.
Truths and Myths About World IPv6 Day
Things about World IPv6 Day that are TRUE…
- Normal Internet users *need do nothing* to participate, and for almost all people there will be no noticeable impact to the event at all
- For this one day, many websites will be reachable via IPv4 or IPv6 – rather than IPv4-alone, which is customary
- The goal of the event is to shine a light on “broken” IPv6 systems and networks, and mobilize the technical community to fix whatever problems exist – discovery of those problems is a key World IPv6 Day goal
- Some devices – those with an IPv6 implementation that is not working – will have trouble reaching some websites
- On June 7th most sites will return to having only IPv4 services (www.salientfed.com is and will remain dual-stack)
- The number of devices adversely affected by this event is expected to be on the order of 0.5% – a very small percentage – but a significant number of people and devices when extrapolated world-wide
- Sometime in the future – date unknown but 1/1/2012 is a good guess – many websites will go “dual-stack” permanently, which is another reason a single-day test on World IPv6 Day is a good milestone towards readiness
Things about World IPv6 Day (and IPv6 in General) that are NOT TRUE…
- No websites are going to “IPv6-only” – World IPv6 Day is about using “dual-stack” – IPv4 will still be present
- Even on whatever future date when major content providers go to “dual-stack” and stay there – no sites will go to IPv6-only – IPv6-only content sites are several years (or more) away
- The Internet is not “converting” to IPv6 anytime soon – the Internet is “going dual-stack” for one day – World IPv6 Day – and then again on a permanent basis in 2012 or 2013 or somewhere in that timeframe
More about World IPv6 Day
World IPv6 Day is a single-day event (June 8th, 2011, GMT-time) where many Internet websites will make their sites accessible via both IPv4 and IPv6 (aka “dual-stack”). This is a global “experiment” – an IPv6 pilot project – to advance IPv6 deployment status, in preparation for a future where almost all systems will be “dual-stack”.
Today, most sites (such as www.google.com) are only reachable via IPv4. On June 8th, many sites will also enable IPv6 services, and advertise reachability for both protocols though the global DNS infrastructure. Our site – www.salientfed.com – is dual-stack already – because we are an IPv6-centric company and leaders in IPv6 deployment.
This site is reachable over IPv4 and IPv6, and has the DNS records shown here.