What is World IPv6 Launch Day all about? How will it affect enterprises who participate and those that don't? And how does it affect the future of the Internet? SearchEnterpriseWAN.com spoke to world-renowned IPv6 expert Silvia Hagen to get answers to these questions and more about World IPv6 Launch Day. Hagen is an IPv6 teacher, consultant and successful author of several books, including IPv6 Essentials and Planning for IPv6. She is also a founding member and chair of the Swiss IPv6 Council.
Last year the Internet Societydesignated June 8, 2011, as World IPv6 Day. On that day, participating ISPs and large enterprises turned on IPv6 to test their connectivity to the new Internet protocol. What, if anything, came out of World IPv6 Day?
Silvia Hagen: The results for World IPv6 Day in 2011 were very positive and showed that there weren't so many problems and issues. Many of the sites that had participated in World IPv6 Day in 2011 left IPv6 turned on after the event. The community decided it did not need another testing phase. This led to the fact that we now have World IPv6 Launch Day.
This year, June 6, 2012, is designated World IPv6 Launch Day. How will this event differ from last year? What will it mean for participants?
Hagen: The difference with World IPv6 Launch Day on June 6, 2012, is that this time it is for real -- meaning, the participants turn on IPv6 on their main domain (for the category site operator) and leave it turned on.
What will it mean for enterprises to have major companies like Google and Facebook turn IPv6 on permanently? Will it help them in any way, in terms of working out their own IPv6 adoption?
Hagen: Turning on IPv6 on your public-facing services -- where you want to be reachable for the outside world -- is a good idea and very important if you want to be part of the whole Internet. If all of your public services are dual-stack, meaning they can talk IPv4 and IPv6, this means that everyone in the Internet -- no matter what protocol someone is using -- can reach your public services natively.
Is there any reason to turn on IPv6 internally?
Hagen: The IPv6 adoption in your internal network has a different business case and different challenges. Enabling IPv6 on the public side is in most cases more important right now, but also a good starting point to become familiar with IPv6 and build experience. Introducing IPv6 in the internal network is in many cases a more complex task and the planning should be started today, because it takes some time to build concepts, like IPv6 network design, address plans, security and management. You also want to make sure you can use your typical update and refresh product cycles, and -- in order to be able to do that -- you need enough time to plan ahead.
Will the general public see a difference in the way they surf the Web on World IPv6 Launch Day? How will it change Web behavior for those using IPv4, if at all? How about for those using IPv6-enabled devices like 4G phones?
Hagen: Web behavior for those using IPv4 will not change. The only thing they cannot do is access IPv6-only content. But we don't expect people to offer IPv6-only content anyway. Public content should be dual-stack, so it can be reached by IPv4-only and also by IPv6-only clients. ISPs that don't have IPv4 addresses anymore to grow their customer base will configure their new customers with IPv6-only native Internet access and provide access to IPv4 services through transition mechanisms, such as NAT64, for instance. These users will have good and native IPv6 performance; however, they will only have translated performance to IPv4 services, which will create a limited experience or even cause issues with certain applications. An enterprise or organization that runs a dual-stack environment will access IPv6-reachable services with IPv6 because that is the preferred protocol.
Will enterprises that have not begun an IPv6 transition come away with anything from World IPv6 Launch Day?
Hagen: Anyone who is not involved with World IPv6 Launch Day will not be affected. Those who are interested in resulting case studies from the World IPv6 Day launch can view the Internet Society's IPv6 Case Study Web page.
For more information, SearchEnterpriseWAN.com has these resources for planning an IPv6 transition:
- IPv6 tutorials: IPv6 explained; IPv6 tutorial; IPv6 migration guide
- Understand why you must prepare for IPv6 now.
- Learn ways to make the IPv4 to IPv6 transition without changing the network.
- Video interview with ARIN CEO on World IPv6 Day 2012
- World IPv6 Launch Day recap
- IPv6 timeline: The road to a new protocol
- Where are top Internet service providers with IPv6?