World IPv6 Day has Facebook, Google & Yahoo Support

World IPv6 Day has Facebook, Google & Yahoo Support

Summary: On 8 June, 2011, Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, Akamai, and Limelight Networks will be amongst some of the major organisations that will offer their content over IPv6 for a 24-hour "test drive."


Yes, we all know we need to convert our networks and Web sites over to IPv6, but no one wants to be the first. Well, now the Internet Society, the non-profit organization supporting Internet standards, education, and policy-making, is trying to solve the problem for us by getting many major Internet Web powers such as Facebook, Google, and Yahoo! and important content delivery network (CDN) providers, including Akamai and Limelight Network to use IPv6 on June 8, 2011.

According to The Internet Society, "The goal of the Test Drive Day is to motivate organizations across the industry - Internet service providers, hardware makers, operating system vendors and web companies - to prepare their services for IPv6 to ensure a successful transition as IPv4 addresses run out."

Today, only a few Web sites, ISPs, and CDNs support IPv6. Martin Levy, director of IPv6 strategy for Hurricane Electric, an IPv6 specialist that provides ISP backbone and co-location services, said today that there are only a handful of sites and CDNs that support IPv6. These include Google; Netflix, to a degree; Germany's Heise Online; Facebook at; and Limelight.

Specifically, the Society hopes World IPv6 Day will "expose potential issues under controlled conditions and address them as soon as possible. The vast majority of users should be able to access services as usual, but in rare cases, mis-configured or misbehaving network equipment, particularly in home networks, may impair access to participating websites during the trial. Current estimates are that 0.05% of users may experience such problems, but participating organizations will be working together with operating system manufacturers, home router vendors and ISPs to minimize the number of users affected. Participants will also be working together to provide tools to detect problems and offer suggested fixes in advance of the trial."

This needs to be done because, again of that chicken and egg problem. It's all well and good for you Web site to support IPv6, but what if your network doesn't support it? What about your end-users? It's all well and good to say that there shouldn't be any problems, but I think we're all smart enough to know that that won't be the case. It never is when you make a major network infrastructure change.

As Donn Lee, a Facebook network engineer, explained on Facebook's page on World IPv6 day, "Testing IPv6 is important because recent studies indicate about 0.05% of Internet users (1 in 2,000) can't reliably connect to websites that enable both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses (known as "dual-stacked" websites. This has resulted in a classic chicken-and-egg puzzle right now: websites don't want to enable IPv6 because a small number of their users may have trouble connecting. At the same time, doing nothing means that ever more users will have trouble connecting to these dual-stacked websites."

Do you want to get involved? You can. You should.

If you run a Website, you can do it by making your site IPv6 accessible using dual stack technology and obtain an AAAA Domain Name System (DNS) record for your site. Your site will should still be available to the IPv4 Internet.

As an ISP, you're going to be participating in this trial one way or the other-it's not like your customers are going to stop trying to use Facebook, Google, and Yahoo. According to the Internet Society, "The most important thing for you to do is to advise your customer support organization. You should have plans in place to explain the event to customers, and to troubleshoot if problems arise. You should consider customer outreach. You may want to post a version of the IPv6 test page on your customer-facing servers, with tips for fixing problems encountered. Once you've done that, you might send notices to customers inviting them to test their service ahead of time. If you provide gateway routers to your customers, you should test their functionality, to make sure user equipment behind them responds appropriately when content is available over dual-stack."

For more information on participating on World IPv6 Day check out the Internet Society How to Join page. If you need more information on how to use IPv6, I highly recommend for anyone working on IPv6 that they read the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)'s Guidelines for the Secure Deployment of IPv6 document. (PDF Link)

Topics: Telcos, Browser, Google, Networking, Social Enterprise

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  • RE: World IPv6 Day has Facebook, Google & Yahoo Support

    I, for one, welcome our new IPv6 overlords.
  • Messy

    Seems like a mess. People generally don't want to learn, spend time, or spend money on complicated new things that in the end promise to give them - exactly what they have today.<br><br>The best way to push people to IPv6 is to convince them of some benefits that matter. So far I haven't really heard of any other than "we need it because we're running out of numbers". That just makes it seem like it should only matter to the poor guys in the future who are told there are no IPv4 numbers available for them. <br><br>If it isn't faster, won't save me money, promises to cost me money, cost me time and is a hassle, and from this story - has compatibility issues, then why should anyone be in a hurry to change? <br><br>I understand the need but seriously I'm not in any hurry. Perhaps some smart people could come up with an IPv7 that makes a hybrid - more numbers - with little changes. Kind of like adding an extra area code when the phone system reached capacity, or adding another digit to license plate numbers. A simpler change like tacking on another 4 numbers so the learning curve was minor. Or an IPv7 that removes many of the outdated manual stuff we now have to deal with.<br><br>I remember coming from an automatic IPX Novell network to a Unix TCP/IP network and it felt like I was moving back in time to the early days of computing. "I have to manually type in a unique IP address - and tell the network my subnet??? And rather than just naming my computer I have to specify a domain???" I realize IPX wasn't designed for a worldwide Internet, but perhaps an entirely new technology should be what we move to. Something where the world of dealing with addresses, dns, and number schemes is dealt with at the engineering level - not at the network admin and even the home user level. Everyone has a unique MAC address on every connection - you'd think someone would have figured out a way to use that address to eliminate all this manual (or dhcp) mess we deal with. <br><br>A slow move to something simpler to manage and not based on the earliest days of computing would certainly be attractive. Kind of like the iPhone of networking protocols - stunning when it came out, and made everyone excited to change or catch up to it.
    • RE: World IPv6 Day has Facebook, Google &amp; Yahoo Support

      @SMparky <i>A simpler change like tacking on another 4 numbers so the learning curve was minor.</i><br><br>That's only possible on a circuit-switched network like the telephone system, where only the originating party needs to deal with the extended addresses. To communicate over a packet-switched network, both the originating and responding parties must have the ability to address the other. Since the IPv4 address fields are fixed at 32 bits, there's just no way to extend the addressing scheme in a backward-compatible way.
      • RE: World IPv6 Day has Facebook, Google &amp; Yahoo Support

        @Vesmet Yes, I realize that, I was just suggesting that perhaps IPv6 could have taken an approach when it was designed so it used the familiar look and concepts, like "appearing" to just tack on some numbers. When I look at an address now all I think is "wow, looks like a complicated mess". Maybe it isn't but at first glance it seems so. If you make it look like something I'm used to then I might go "hey, this is no big deal" and will not mind changing. As I understand it there are new things to learn, and as mentioned - if I see no benefit I have better things to learn. I'm tired of new versions adding complications. "Can't something just be easier?" (or appear to be easier) should be the motto for this century.

        Sometimes you have to wonder if the people involved even considered who is going to care and use this stuff. I don't like things being complicated just for the sake of job security. Perhaps think of it from a whole new angle and try to eliminate a whole area of problems - having to ever manually deal with these numbers.

        I remember when they banned Freon in car air-conditioners. The world was going to end - until someone came up with an apparently easy solution. Same with for example when area codes were running out of numbers (they came up with solutions - but really missed the boat on any thought to doing away with them at all. Can you imagine 300 years from now - with phone numbers being 25 digits long because people were too lazy to come up with an elegant solution). We need an elegant solution to the IP problem.
    • RE: World IPv6 Day has Facebook, Google &amp; Yahoo Support

      @SMparky "That just makes it seem like it should only matter to the poor guys in the future who are told there are no IPv4 numbers available for them. "

      You could be that poor guy when you decide to buy a phone and try to browse and find that there is no ip available to be allocated for that phone. And a phone cant use NAT, it needs a unique worldwide id to connect.
    • RE: World IPv6 Day has Facebook, Google & Yahoo Support

    • Every MAC address is not unique. Vendors reuse them all the time. They just

  • Please clarify &quot;if you run a website&quot;

    You state, "If you run a Website ...."

    Is that only referring to a host that directly accesses the Internet backbone, or does it also apply to hosted sites? For instance, I have about 20 websites hosted by but most of the domain names are registered with a different domain name registrar. And those websites are actually subdomains although they are also accessible with direct URL's, i.e.,
  • Is 6to4 the issue

    A bit of Ipv6 access is done via 6to4 relays. It is a neat technology to link Ipv6 islands together over IPv4, all that in a dynamic way.

    A fixed tunnel, where the IPv4 end points are static is way better.

    The trouble with 6to4 is that you don't know which are the proxies that convert your traffic. If they are mis-configured then you are in real tough luck, because we are missing tools to diagnose the issues and even so, it is hard to find the admin of such proxies.

    Franck Martin
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