IPv6 Day is June 8, 2011

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May 26, 2011 - On 8 June, 2011, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Akamai and Limelight Networks will be among some of the major organizations that will offer their content over IPv6 for a 24-hour test flight. The goal of the Test Flight 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.

Tieline Technology shared some background on IPv4 and IPv6:

IPv6 Test Flight

Since 1981, IPv4 has been the predominant Internet Protocol (IP) architecture and it is currently the foundation for most Internet communications. However, the exponential growth of the Internet has created the need for many more IP addresses than IPv4 is capable of providing. As a result, IPv6 infrastructure is about to become a very hot topic as it solves the Internet address shortage and delivers other benefits to broadcasters.

World IPv6 Day takes place on June 8 to highlight this transformation and encourage all website and IP network operations personnel to test their readiness for transitioning to IPv6 network infrastructure.

Internet address allocation is managed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), which earlier this year allocated the last remaining IPv4 addresses to Regional Internet Registration (RIRs) authorities around the world. These RIRs allocate addresses to Internet Service Providers (ISPs), who in turn allocate them to their customers.

The first RIRs have already started to run out of IPv4 addresses and once they are totally exhausted, this finite resource will officially become a commodity, which current owners will need to maintain and manage as IPv6 infrastructure becomes more prevalent.

IPv6 will deliver many billions of new addresses and even though IPv4 will essentially be legacy technology, it will not go away anytime soon. While this is good news for all IPv4-compatible devices, the bad news is that the IPv4 and IPv6 Internet infrastructures will not just seamlessly work together.

Although they both use the same physical network, they are for all intents and purposes different internets and an IPv4 only device will not talk to an IPv6 only device. As for the question of how long support for IPv4 will remain, this is completely unknown and depends entirely upon how long it is commercially viable for suppliers and users to maintain both infrastructures.

During the transition period it will be necessary for IP codecs and other IP devices to connect over both IPv4 and IPv6 infrastructure, or they will not be able to connect seamlessly across the entire Internet. This can be achieved with Dual Stack IPv4/v6 compatibility, whereby a device is able to connect to and use both IPv4 and IPv6 networks at the same time.

The Benefits of IPv6 for Broadcasters

IPv6 delivers simpler networking, enhanced security and almost unlimited numbers of IP addresses. These advantages will eventually revolutionize broadcasting over the Internet using IP.

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