DeLong added that many big-name websites are working on IPv6 behind-the-scenes even though they didn't want to publicly commit to supporting IPv6 by June 6, the World IPv6 Launch Day deadline. For example, Amazon in May announced expanded IPv6 support for its Elastic Load Balancer. "Amazon's networking group is putting some effort into making its services IPv6 capable even if Amazon.com isn't ready yet," DeLong said.
Similarly, Apple is making improvements in its IPv6 support in OS X Lion but isn't yet supporting the new protocol on its popular Apple.com website or its iTunes or App Store services. "Apple is running IPv6 internally throughout its internal corporate engineering network," DeLong said.
IPv6 proponents are hoping that a successful World IPv6 Launch Day will encourage Apple, Amazon and other laggards to ramp up their IPv6-related efforts.
"There aren't as many IPv4 addresses as there are people on the planet," Daigle points out. "More and more companies are waking up to that fact and wondering how they are expected to cope with IPv4 in terms of buying IPv4 addresses or installing increasingly complex network address translators or deploying IPv6."
DeLong said there's no doubt that IPv6 will become increasingly important for website operators to support. "We've seen a 5X to 6X increase in IPv6 traffic in the last week on our own backbone network," DeLong said, pointing out that Hurricane Electric has the Internet's most interconnected IPv6 backbone. "The IPv6 traffic is only going to go up from here."
World IPv6 Launch Day "is probably the first time we're going to see the amount of IPv6 traffic go up significantly and stay that way," agreed Bob Hinden, a Check Point fellow and one of the developers of IPv6 at the Internet Engineering Task Force. "I think we'll see it spike as more content is turned on."
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