The world passed a significant milestone on June 6, and no one noticed the great sigh of relief that went up around the world. And that’s just the way it should be. On that day, World IPv6 Launch Day, the new Internet addressing system, was successfully put to work. We know that it was successful because it did not break the Internet.
IPv6 is the successor to IPv4, the numerical addressing system used by the Internet up until now. But IPv4 is running out of numbers, though still being issued. But with enough addresses to cover a bit more than half the population of the planet (“only” 4.3 billion addresses), the Internet’s continued growth depends on rolling out a new system before the crunch came.
However, there were some real uncertainties involved, as this turnover is historically unique. Nothing like this has never been done before nor will be again. The problem is that IPv6, while similar to IPv4 in structure and function, is not actually compatible with the older system. Like the Y2K scare, fixes involving new software had to be inserted into existing servers and gateways to make it work.
Happily, that, and all the other challenges, were overcome in time. IPv6 seems to function without a hitch. Here are some of the major players who have turned on their IPv6 connections:
- Time Warner
- Yahoo! etc.
Unlike the old, the new addressing scheme is virtually limitless. How big is it? Well, as a small ISP, Southwest Cyberport has been issued the least number of addresses given out in a single block, and we’ve been given more addresses than the entire IPv4 space!
While not mathematically infinite (approximately 3.4×1038 addresses, an unimaginable amount), enough are available that everything on the planet that could be online can have its own unique Internet address. The entire Earth can, and undoubtedly will, be wired.
The sky is the limit. And Southwest Cyberport is ready to take you there. We participated in the World IPv6 Day event last year to test the new system; we’re ready to deploy addresses whenever demand for them arises.
Give us a call or email to inquire about your address to the future.