IPv6 Debut Takes Web by Storm

(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – Today marks an event that’s been highly anticipated by tech geeks and Internet pioneers everywhere: It’s World IPv6 Launch day.

On this date, a majority of companies have fully implemented IPv6 compatibility. So exactly what does that mean? As you may already know, IPv4 addressed the way web addresses are actually translated into the actual coding, providing you, the user, with the ability to browse the websites you so love.

IPv6 serves the same purpose. The only thing is that it adds availability for extra numeric digits to an IP address. So why the need for more? IPv4 had run its course. Talk about all used up! The old platform was officially exhausted in February of 2011.

According to a report from CNN Money, today’s official debut of IPv6 makes “340 trillion trillion trillion” (that’s also in the undecillions) totally unique addresses available to the web. The previous number available accounted for just 4.3 billion, obviously still large but nowhere near the new standard set by IPv6.

Just some of those fully converting to IPv6 include both ISP companies and other top online presences. Among them are AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Google, Microsoft Bing, Yahoo!, Cisco, Internode, and KDDI.

While simply adding new digits via another platform might seem simple. It’s easier said than done. “This is not puffery. It is incredibly hard, painstaking work by engineers looking to make sure that every line of code that “knows” an IP address is 32 bits long in a certain format also “knows” that it could also be in IPv6 format, 128 bits long,” commented computer scientist Vint Cerf in a CNET interview on Tuesday (Cerf is highly regard as one of the Internet’s “co-creators”).

“This is a major accomplishment for ISPs and application providers around the world. The router and edge device providers have mostly done their homework years ago, but the ISPs and app providers are largely just getting there,” Cerf concluded.

In the web hosting community, IPv6 has been notably crucial to the operation of new hosting services. One host implementing the new protocol includes Host Virtual, a provider dual-stack clouds. For the host, it’s been a long time in the making. Host Virtual first began integrating towards IPv6 in 2008.

Just a year ago, a variety of companies participated in World IPv6 Day, an event used for testing the new platform. That event went smooth, and if today’s reports are any indication, your online activity shouldn’t be affected by one of the web’s biggest transitions yet.