So today (June 6 2011) was World IPv6 Day, the day on which several major players in the internet field turn on, and enable ipv6 for testing for the day. Organised by the Internet Society, the event was planned to mark a test of the IPv6 protocol, to validate it's day to day usage. Even the date of the event was carefully chosen, being 6/6/2011, no matter which date format you use.
With global participation of many providers (including Google, Facebook and others) the whole chain between end-user, ISPs, Peering-Points and Content Providers could be checked and validated in a global scale test. How did it go?
Quite a few of the organisations have run IPv6 for a while, in preparation for today. Many plan on continuing to run their services in the future. This is the direction in which the Internet is heading. The biggest challenges at this time are IPv6 connectivity and dns configuration. These core elements of infrastructure become key enablers in moving IPv6 forward.
Having a single day to concentrate the mind on testing and proving IPv6 is good. All the various IPv6 experts are available to nail down interoperability or connectivity or other issues within the IPv6 Internet. With the participation of content providers ensuring a playground of source data to test with, consuming applications can verify they work too. (What's the point of having an IPv6 RSS feed, if there are no readers that are capable of absorbing the information directly via IPv6?). Google provided ipv6.google.com, and facebook www.v6.facebook.com to test with.
There are still some ISPs that still don't understand the need for IPv6 support at all. My cable network supplier has no plans on supporting IPv6 at the moment. There will be areas of the Internet in the very near future that are only accessible via IPv6. This is particularly true in rapidly growing Internet areas of the world. This will include places like south korea and other Asian countries which have increasing Internet demand, despite the continuing IPv4 exhaustion.
No IPv6 support restricts me to an IPv4 view of the world. As would anybody that doesn't have IPv6 supported devices and network. So I'm planning on getting an IPv6 connection sorted out myself, tunnelling my IPv6 data into the Internet core via Hurricane Electric, and seeing what happens.
More later, as World IPv6 Day is really the start of the World IPv6 Future.