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Web giants gear up for World IPv6 Day on 8 June


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Facebook, Google and Yahoo to enable IPv6 for 24-hour 'test flight'

Google, Facebook and Yahoo will enable IPv6-based networks to access their sites on World IPv6 Day on 8 June, in an effort to drive awareness of the need to switch from IPv4 to the new protocol.

The sites, which account for over a billion visits a day, will make the transition as part of a 24-hour 'test flight' of IPv6 which also involves content delivery networks Akamai and Limelight Networks.

Phil Roberts, technical manager at the Internet Society, which has co-ordinated World IPv6 Day, told V3.co.uk that the event should put the issue of IPv6 and the depletion of IPv4 squarely on the agenda for the year ahead.

"By getting major sites signed up to take part we hope the event will promote awareness in other organisations across the internet, from hardware vendors to service providers, of the need to transition to IPv6," he said.

"The day will have no noticeable impact on the internet to the everyday user. Everything will work the same on the day and afterwards, but it will help give organisations a focus for their plans for moving to IPv6."

Roberts added that the day underlines a collaborative ethos in the internet community that will maintain forward momentum in the coming months and years.

Lorenzo Colitti, a network engineer at Google, said in a blog post that World IPv6 Day will inspire web sites to join in and help prepare internet users for the switchover.

"This is a crucial phase in the transition because, while IPv6 is widely deployed in many networks, it has never been used on such a large scale before, " he said.

"We hope that, by working together with a common focus, we can help the industry prepare for the new protocol, find and resolve any unexpected issues, and pave the way for global deployment."

Colitti expects that around 99.95 per cent of web users will be unaffected by the IPv6 test, but acknowledged that in some cases web users "may experience connectivity problems, often due to misconfigured or misbehaving home network devices".

Fewer than five per cent of the world's IPv4 web addresses remain, and the Number Resource Organisation, which manages the distribution of batches of IPv4 addresses, has urged organisations to act sooner rather than later.

The Internet Society hopes that other organisations will register their interest in taking part in World IPv6 Day by signing up on the group's web site.

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