Tech professionals have long known that the well of IPv4 web addresses is drying up. In February 2011, the final five blocks of IPv4 addresses were given out to the Regional Internet Registries that administer and register IP addresses around the world. And while we’ve long known that the switch to IPv6 is coming, it’s been coming slowing.
Current protocol provides up to 4.3 billion addresses, which seemed more than adequate when IPv4 was developed in the 1970s. However, use of the Internet has grown exponentially in recent years, and we’re fast running out of available addresses. IPv6 will introduce 128-bit addresses, instead of 32-bit, allowing a virtually unending supply of IP addresses. However, until now, there hasn’t been much public pressure to make the switch.
But “World IPv6 Launch” on June 6, 2012, will make IPv6 protocol the new normal, with Internet Service Providers, equipment manufacturers and web companies encouraged to voluntarily switch to IPv6 for good. However, because both the host system and the end user system must be running the same protocol in order to communicate, the switch to IPv6 is somewhat complicated. Both website hosts and end users have to upgrade their devices. Now, large technology organizations are mounting public campaigns to usher in the switch and make the move simple for end users.
NTT Com Asia announced that it has partnered with Internet Society Hong Kong (ISOC HK) to roll out a campaign that will help Internet users understand the switch and learn what they must do to adopt the new Internet protocol. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government sponsors the campaign, “IPv6 in Action.”
NTT Com Asia is the network partner for IPv6 in Action, and will provide support with its Tier-1 IPv6/IPv4 network, data centers and professional IPv6 consultation. “NTT Communications has been at the forefront of fostering IPv6 development, and their support is vital to the success of this project,” said Charles Mok, head of the IPv6 in Action project and founding chairman of ISOC HK. When NTT Com spoke with SC Lueng, chairman of ISOC HK in February, he talked about the importance of IPv6 to Hong Kong.
IPv6 in Action includes an educational website that provides specific instructions to help home users and enterprises make the switch, as well as background about why the new protocol is needed. The website is hosted on NTT Communications’ IPv4/IPv6 Dual Stack Service.
Operating systems, including Windows Vista and newer and Apple Mac OSX and newer, are already IPv6 enabled. Comcast recently experienced a problem while trying to update its modem devices to make them IPv6 compatible. The company is moving forward with the update, but working to resolve the glitch, which caused a loss of connectivity for several hundred customers.
How is your company gearing up for the World IPv6 Launch? What concerns do you have about make the switch?