News

What Happened on World IPv6 Day

6/20/2011 12:01 AM Eastern

CHICAGO — It’s less than two weeks
since the June 8 “World IPv6 Day,”
and the results came in clean during
last week’s IPv6 Summit here.

The highlights from the half-day
summit, which attracted network
experts from ARIN, Best Buy,
Comcast, Facebook, Time Warner
Cable, Turner Broadcasting,
among others:

• On the June 8 test day, Comcast’s call center
volumes were normal; two-thirds of consumer
calls fielded by Time Warner Cable were along
the lines of “what’s all this about IPv6?”

• Thousands of websites turned on IPv6 –
and left it on.

• When IPv4 was created in 1978, 4.3 billion
addresses seemed like plenty. Now, with
7 billion people on the planet, many of whom
regularly use as many as five devices with IP addresses,
4.3 billion seems … puny.

• The most frequently asked question of John
Curran, CEO of the American Registry for Internet
Numbers (ARIN): Why is IPv6 not backwardscompatible
to IPv4? “Because we already had
millions approaching billions of v4 addresses
out there that couldn’t be changed, or couldn’t
be reliably updated to v6.”

• The transition to IPv6 will be hardest for broadband
access providers, like cable. “Your customers
want access to the entire Internet. If your neighbor
can’t connect to a web site because it’s on the
wrong protocol, he’s not going to think it’s his problem.
He’s going to think it’s your problem.” (Curran)

The hit machine keeps rolling, when it comes
to colorful ways to describe the largess of the
IPv6 address space. Last week’s addition: If you
were to cram all of the IPv4 addresses into a
ball, it’d have the density of a golf ball. IPv6? A
ball the size of the sun.

• The measure of success in transitioning is expressed
in terms of things not broken: “World IPv6
day was pretty much a non-event, from a brokenness
perspective.” (John Brzozowski, Comcast)

• Retailers wouldn’t venture a guess on what
percentage of the IP-connectable consumer
gadgets on their shelves are IPv4, vs. IPv6, and
they’re concerned. “Any products that aren’t ready
for IPv6 will cause return rates to go up. That not
only drives up cost, but it keeps consumers on
the sidelines – nobody wants to buy a product
that doesn’t work right.” (Stephen Bosch, director
of strategy and business development, Best Buy)

• Useful web links to stay current with the
IPv6 transition: www.arin.net, www.getipv6.info,
www.teamARIN.net
.

• Content providers are finding it “relatively
straightforward” to transition to IPv6. “The routers
tend to work, load balancers and other appliances
that go into providing a web site, those are improving
in quality.” (Sam Gassel, Turner Broadcasting)

• Quote of the meeting, from Comcast’s IPv6
shepherd John Brzozowski, about World IPv6 day:
“It was a wasted 37 hours of not sleeping, for me.”


Stumped by gibberish? Visit Leslie Ellis at
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