"This is a test flight. It's been clear from the beginning that we're expecting problems," says Andy Champagne, vice president of engineering at Akamai, a content delivery network that carriers anywhere from 15% to 30% of the Internet's traffic and a World IPv6 Day participant. "I don't think I remember an event where we have had so many different companies working together to fix a problem. We have folks who are usually staunch competitors sharing information."
Many of the Internet's biggest companies are participating in World IPv6 Day, including:
--ISPs such as Comcast, Time Warner, AT&T and Verizon;
-- network equipment vendors such as Cisco, Juniper, Blue Coat and Radware;
-- software suppliers such as Microsoft, Mozilla and Nominum.
Other participants include universities such as Rensellaer Polytechnic Institute, government agencies including the Federal Aviation Administration, and tech industry groups such as the W3C.
Preparing for World IPv6 Day required a significant amount of planning, engineering work and testing, said Alain Fiocco, who leads the IPv6 program at Cisco.
"We had to work with our DNS provider and work with our ISP to make sure we had good connectivity and a redundant path to the ISP. These are the traditional things that you would do for a good, production-quality IPv4 network," Fiocco says. "We haven't really uncovered any big technical issues, nothing that was a show-stopper. So we feel pretty good about where we are today."
Cisco set up an IPv6 war room that will monitor its website and network activity for the 24-hour trial. The company also beefed up its technical support information available online and is allowing customers to share their experiences on World IPv6 Day.
"Over the last few weeks, we've been prolific in giving people advice on what to do, how to prepare and what kind of configurations to use. For that day, we have a plan in place to support our customers," Fiocco says. "There's been a lot of prep work and a lot of education for our own people."