What World IPv6 Day is all about

Learn what World IPv6 Day is, what it will accomplish and why it matters to enterprise network engineers and managers dealing with the new Internet Protocol version 6.

What is World IPv6 Day and why does it matter to enterprises? Find out in this Q&A with SearchEnterpriseWAN.com's resident IPv6 expert, Silvia Hagen. Hagen is CEO of Sunny Connection AG in Switzerland and author of popular books, including IPv6 Essentials. Here, she answers questions on what enterprises can expect to get out of World IPv6 Day and how it will accelerate overall IPv6 migration.

What is World IPv6 Day supposed to accomplish?

Silvia HagenSilvia Hagen: Large enterprises want to test the impact of turning on IPv6 for their main domain. Sites such as Google.com have been dual-stack for quite some time, but the website can only be accessed over IPv6 by using a special domain name such as http://ipv6.google.com. On June 8, 2011, all the websites participating in the test fully turn on IPv6 by adding a AAAA DNS record for their main domain for 24 hours and accompanying this with measurements. The measurements will reveal how many clients are out there that encounter performance problems due to misbehaving client operating systems or bad IPv6 connectivity. They will also reveal how many IPv6-capable users are out there that will use IPv6 as a transport as soon as content is available. A description of the goals of World IPv6 Day and a list of the participants can be found at www.worldipv6day.org.

Why is it important to designate one day across the globe to turn on IPv6?

Hagen: Because the Internet is a global network and the measurements will show from which part of the world what percentage of traffic comes in as IPv6 traffic and how many broken clients there are.

How might World IPv6 Day facilitate or expedite IPv6 adoption?

Hagen: Results may show that issues aren't as bad anymore as we may think and that there are more IPv6 users out there than expected. This will encourage content providers to provide IPv6 content and ISPs to offer IPv6 services to enterprises and residential users.

How might surfing the Web on World IPv6 Day be different than any other day?

Hagen: Many users will not have a different experience. Users with good IPv6 access will simply get to all IPv6-enabled websites over IPv6. But usually, if there isn't a dancing turtle or something else making you aware of it, you won't notice; you just simply get to see the website. Users with broken IPv6 stacks or bad IPv6 connectivity may experience long delays in accessing dual-stack websites, not because the website is slow, but because their IPv6 connectivity is broken and the client needs some time to finally go to the website over IPv4.

What are some takeaways enterprises participating in IPv6 Day will come away with?

Hagen: They gained experience in upgrading the website to be dual-stack and will have the opportunity to test and measure IPv6 access to their website in the protected environment of a test day. Based on the results they can either decide to permanently offer the website as dual-stacked, or they have information on how to optimize it.

Will enterprises that have not begun an IPv6 transition come away with anything from World IPv6 Day?

Hagen: Yes. They can read the news after World IPv6 Day and learn how it could have been to participate. But they will miss the chance to go through the experience.

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