June 08, 2011, 5:48 PM — World IPv6 Day, a 24-hour trial of next-generation Internet services, is going as smoothly as participating websites had hoped, sparking comparisons to the dawn of the new millennium passing without any Y2K-related incidents.
IPv6 is a long-anticipated upgrade to the Internet's main communications protocol, which is known as IPv4. IPv6 features an expanded addressing scheme to allow vastly more devices to be attached directly to the Internet, but it is not backward compatible with IPv4.
Launched five months ago, World IPv6 Day is a trial of IPv6 sponsored by the Internet Society that has attracted the Internet's most popular websites including Facebook, Google, Yahoo and Bing. The event was designed to allow website operators to identify any problems with the emerging standard before they deploy it in production mode.
"The key phrase that is being used by World IPv6 Day participants is that it has been uneventful, and that is absolutely the best thing that we could have expected," says Martin Levy, director of IPv6 strategy at Hurricane Electric, which claims to have the world's most interconnected IPv6 backbone.
"World IPv6 Day made a lot of large companies really get their act together. They used it as a deadline for deploying IPv6," Levy adds. "Hopefully a lot of people will leave it on because they are not finding a lot of brokenness."
Jean McManus, executive director of Verizon's Corporate Technology Organization, also used the word "uneventful" to describe the carrier's experience with both its LTE network and its www.verizonbusiness.com websites over the last few hours.
"We're not really taking calls with customers having issues," McManus says. "Some users may have broken connections, but they are either not going to call into tech support or it's not out there in the volumes that people thought because at this point we are not seeing the calls. ... We are really pleasantly surprised at how smoothly it's gone."