By: Jeff Simmermon at 02:35 pm
I’ve mentioned World IPv6 Day here before, but I’ll forgive you if you’ve forgotten about it. As a concept, it’s marginally more exciting than a wet loaf of bread, but it’s a lot more important.
Here’s a relevant excerpt from a previous post:
The IP in IPv4 and IPv6 stands for Internet Protocol. It is, essentially, the system by which machines can send data from one specific machine to another across a network of other machines. Every Internet-enabled device has a unique address known as an IP address. You may have seen these and not known it – they are sort of like the bar codes of the digital world. They look like this: 192.168.5.255.
Each IP address is a unique digital snowflake – no two are exactly the same. Back in the ’70s, when the Internet was just invented, there were roughly 4.3 billion available addresses in IPv4. Now we are running out.
Cisco put together a pretty funny, hyperbolized video that sums up the situation really well:
As a regular Internet user, you don’t have that much to worry about yet. We are working with Google, Akamai and others to make sure that we convert over to IPv6 protocol before any major issues occur.
June 8th is World IPv6Day, a day that major Internet organisations like Facebook, Google, and more will offer their content over IPv6 to see how users systems perform. You can learn more about World IPv6 Day here.
You can test your IP address/computer here to see how you’ll be affected on June 8th, and how prepared your ISP is. Most ISPs won’t show that they are ready yet for IPv6 only, but should be able to straddle IPv4 and IPv6 addresses just fine.
If you’re interested in networks and network connectivity, this is going to be pretty cool for you. If you’re not, the IPv6 conversion will likely be like New Year’s Day, 2000. On that day I woke up with a headache and nobody but myself to blame. The lights worked, the toilet flushed, and everything went better than expected. By that afternoon everything was fine and I’d almost forgotten about all the hard work and testing all the engineers had put in quietly behind the scenes to allow me the luxury of focusing on my headache.
The IPv6 conversion will probably be kind of like that.