IPv6 Day arrives for Australian internet users

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IPv6 Day arrives for Australian internet users

What it means.

Queensland University of Technology and Melbourne IT have joined over 400 organisations enabling IPv6 on their websites as part of a global IPv6 test drive today.

The two were listed as participants on the official World IPv6 Day website, along with web firm KTS Australia.

The day officially started at 10am (Sydney time) today and is being coordinated locally by the Internet Society of Australia (ISOC-AU).

It was being touted as a way to expose potential issues with large-scale IPv6 use, allowing ISPs, website operators and equipment vendors to work on resolutions collaboratively.

ISOC-AU vice president Narelle Clark told iTnews that the society was continuing to receive last-minute requests to join the global test.

Clark said that Netregistry had signed on yesterday to participate, and they were joined by a "whole lot of boutique service providers".

Others expected to join the test were IPv6 early-adopters like ISP Internode, AARNet and Monash University.

However, others still would continue to test out their IPv6 configurations behind closed doors.

"The bigger content and network service providers – apart from Internode and AARNet – are saying to me they're really excited and working really hard doing some things, but they're not prepared to make them public at this stage," Clark said.

Clark said the global test was an important way to "find out little weird problems" that could be caused by the large-scale use of IPv6.

"Over the past 20 years or so of rolling out IPv4 networks, we've discovered all sorts of 'wonderful' features," she said.

"We've worked together to iron out those bugs. But until you start doing things at a large scale you don't see what these things are.

"Because large service providers had their fingers burned before, they don't want to put at risk what is now a fundamental part of the economic and social infrastructure. So they're doing [IPv6 testing] in the most careful way they possibly can."

At a global level, IPv6 day has the support of Google, Yahoo!, Facebook and Akamai, along with most networking vendors – Huawei, Ericsson, Tellabs, Qualcomm, F5, Bluecoat and RIM to name but a few.

Google said in a blog post that the global IPv6 test would go unnoticed by most of the world's internet users.

"The vast majority (99.95 percent) of people will be able to access services without interruption: either they'll connect over IPv6, or their systems will successfully fall back to IPv4," the search giant's 'IPv6 samurai' Lorenzo Colitti posted.

That figure matched estimates being provided through the official IPv6 Day channels.

What it meant was that about half of one percent of internet users could face issues accessing some of the participating sites tomorrow.

"We estimate that .05 percent of systems may fail to fall back to IPv4, so some people may find Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Bing and other participating websites slow or unresponsive on World IPv6 Day," Colitti said.

"This is often due to misconfigured or misbehaving home networking equipment, such as home routers that can make a computer think it has IPv6 connectivity when in fact it's not working."

Colitti said that Google – like other major internet players – had been working for months to resolve IPv6 connectivity issues that arose in certain system configurations.

He said that Chrome, for example, now included "workarounds for malfunctioning IPv6 networks."

Resources

IPv6.org.au lists a series of free and paid IPv6 services for internet users and website owners.

Google has set up a page to test whether you might have connection problems tomorrow.

NASA has listed six sites it will IPv6-enable on World IPv6 Day.

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