- by Chad, "The Dream", Weaver
If you are someone who uses a computer, an event taking place throughout the internet this coming summer is something you might want to pay attention too. That is of course “IPv6 Day”. I know those scary letters can make most people shutter; not me, of course, I love this stuff. First off let’s touch on what IPv6 is and what it has to do with connecting to your favorite website such as Facebook. For some time now the IP addresses you are used to seeing-or maybe not but you are using them no matter what-are small sets of 4 three digit decimal numbers. They are usually displayed like 192.168.1.1 and, as a side note, each 3 digit numbers cannot exceed 255. This has to do with the binary number, but that’s a topic for another day. You can see us IT support guys really love this stuff but I am sure to be boring some readers already. The current system is called IPv4, and because of its limitations we are expecting it to run flat out some time this year. IPv6 is the replacement system providing exponentially more IP addresses. This time around, even your dog can have their own unique IP address.
So what’s the whole point of this if we’re just going to switch over in the near future? The problem is no one in the world wants to go first. Many sites out there have found issues when running what is called “dual stack” on their web servers. While it’s a small percentage of home users, it prevents them from connecting at all. (IPv6 isn’t new by the way it has been around for years now.) Now a group called the Internet Society is promoting an IPv6 day this year on June 8th 2011. The purpose is for major players on the internet such as Facebook (we can debate the importance of them later), Google, and Yahoo signing on already, to switch over to the new numbering system for a day. The good news is this is a great real world test on the new system; the bad news is things might not work perfectly.
What does this have to do with you, you might ask? Isn’t this the problem of networking junkies like me to think about? For the most part you shouldn’t worry. Just be aware that there may be some oddness when trying to update your status for the day, perhaps. The good news is that for a long time now software and networking devices have been updating to handle the new system. Even good old Microsoft has been using dual stack in their OS for years now Vista and 7 are pretty much good to go. The bad news is not all equipment specifically items used in home networks are going to be happy that day. This numbering system is not even remotely similar to the older guy it is replacing. While I picture no one at all noticing anything occurring this day, I was so excited to hear about it I started to think about all the awesome things that are possible under the new system and even wrote a blog about it, wait that’s what you are reading now. Anyway, this is a huge step in to the future, and a necessary one most of you might not even be aware of. To me and all the rest of us doing networking and IT support it’s an exciting one. Perhaps it should be promoted to ‘holiday’ status maybe even a day off. Well, perhaps not.
If you're curious about your business being ready for IPv6 Day, don't hesitate to contact Trigon. We're willing and able to make the transition buttery smooth.