Are you excited for the holiday that starts at 5:00pm Mountain Time today? It’s just a few quick hours away, and I’ve certainly been stockpiling my confetti. The holiday I’m referring to, of course, is World IPv6 Day, a celebration / field test supported by Google, Bing, Yahoo!, and about 400 other organizations.
For those who need the introductory course, here’s a brief rundown of the IP situation. Every system that connects to the internet has a unique code associated with it. That code comes in the form of an IP address. In 1981 we created a protocol known as IPv4, which allowed for about four billion addresses. We will have distributed the last of them by the end of 2012. We’re replacing it with IPv6, a protocol that will give us about 340 trillion addresses – which should last a little while.
World IPv6 Day is an opportunity for the major technology groups to come together and do a live test of IPv6. Bing, Yahoo!, Google, and essentially all of their sub-services will be running off IPv6 for 24 hours; specifically, between midnight and midnightUTC, June 8th. It’s expected that the vast majority of users will experience no issues, especially if they’re using a modern web browser.
Of course, we’ve known about the IPv6 holiday for quite some time, and have kept up with related statements from participating companies as the date has loomed closer. While World IPv6 Day is a big step forward in live testing of the new internet standard, it’s not an isolated incident. The companies involved have been working on preparing their sites and servers for years, and Google has even indicated that internal testing has been a constant this year, saying, “Since the best way to find bugs in your services is to hammer on them yourself, Google employees have been operating in ‘World IPv6 Day mode’ for several months now.”
[via the Official Google Blog]