The June 08 World IPv6 Day
starts in a couple hours, technically tonight at 8:00pm EST on June 07 for those of you in the United States.
Many major web sites including Facebook, Google, Verizon, and Yahoo will be participating.
As of this writing about 66% of the IPv6 Day participates have already enabled IPv6 on their web sites.
What is IPv6? It's the next generation internet protocol that will eventually replace IPv4. You are probably already familuar with IPv4 IP address that look like 127.0.109.26. IPv6 IP Addresses look like 2406:da00:ff00::3213:f830 and are among other things much harder to memorize. That will make IP Management more important in the future, but that's the different discussion outside the scope of this article.
Why IPv6? The biggest reason is that we will soon run out of IPv4 IP addresses. All of the IPv4 space has been allocated and we could run out later this year or sometime in 2012. Asia Pacific and mobile internet services will likely be the first major adopters of IPv6. The internet will be running on both IPv4 and IPv6 for many years to come so don't worry about forgetting everything you know about IPv4 just yet!
What does this mean for you? Hopefully nothing! If all goes well you will have a regular day on the internet and will not experience any problems reaching the participating web sites. It is expected that less than 0.05% of internet users will experience a problem during the day. Yes, that is still a large number of people (roughly 1/2000) but the day should not result in a total disaster. The major of the problems for home users are expected to be related to old computers, operating systems that don't have the latest updates, and networking equipment such as home routers that do not support IPv6 properly.
If you suspect that there is a problem with the configuration on your computer or your home network try this test page - Test your IPv6.
It is OK if you fail the IPv6 test on that page. What is important is that it reports that your computer does not appear to have any problems reaching sites that have enabled both IPv4 and IPv6 connectivity. If you are part of the 0.05% experiencing a real problem here is a fix available for Windows that corrects the problem for June 08 and expires on June 10 - Resolving Internet connectivity issues on World IPv6 Day - June 8, 2011
Computer geeks! If you would like to get connected to the IPv6 internet and don't already have a connection, you can get one for free from an IPv6 tunnel broker such as Hurricane Electric
On another note, from the web site operator side of things, I enabled IPv6 for some of my sites last week, including my personal blog
. Amazon EC2 makes it very easy to add IPv6 support for your existing instances by adding IPv6 support at the load balancer level. The good news is that your instance does not need to support IPv6. The bad news is that some of your analytics will break and all of your visitors will appear to be coming from the same non-routable 10.x.x.x. IP address (which appears to be the inside interface of your load balancer)
If you are an end user and have an IPv6 related question please post it in our Help Desk
or hit the comment button below.
If you are a mail server administrator and have a more technical IPv6 related server question please post it in our Mail Server Support Forum
Thank you for visiting Email Questions! We hope that your IPv6 Day goes more like this
than like this