June 07, 2012, 9:18 PM — IPv6 is the new normal for the Internet. So claims the Internet Society (ISOC) as it sums up the early results of its World IPv6 Launch Day held on Wednesday.
World IPv6 Launch Day was a kick-off event for more than 60 access network providers such as AT&T, Comcast and Time Warner Cable, and 3,000 websites -- including Facebook, Google, Yahoo and Bing -- to begin permanently supporting IPv6 for their customers. Additionally, five home router vendors including Cisco and D-Link are now shipping home routers with IPv6 turned on by default.
"The Internet functions with regular, business operations on IPv6. Participating websites have turned IPv6 on for good, access providers already have significant IPv6 traffic on their networks, and equipment manufacturers are shipping with IPv6 on by default," said Leslie Daigle, chief Internet technology officer of ISOC, at a press conference held Thursday. "IPv6 is the new normal."
Daigle urged CIOs and other enterprise IT professionals to accelerate their plans for migrating corporate websites, networks and applications to IPv6.
"For organizations, it's time to accelerate your IPv6 plans. If you don't already have plans, you are behind," Daigle said, adding that "IPv6 is proven ready for business."
IPv6 is an upgrade to the Internet's main communications protocol, known as IPv4. IPv6 is needed because IPv4 is running out of addresses. However, IPv6 is not backward-compatible with IPv4. So network operators must run the two protocols side-by-side in what's called dual-stack mode or translate between them, which adds cost and latency to their operations. Because of these complications, IPv6 has suffered from a slow adoption curve. That's why Internet policymakers are promoting IPv6 through events such as World IPv6 Launch Day.
BY THE NUMBERS: Why the Internet needs IPv6
One enterprise that aggressively adopted the new protocol for World IPv6 Launch Day is Cisco, which is supporting IPv6 on its main website -- www.cisco.com -- as well as its www.home.cisco.com and www.webex.com sites.