Happy World IPv6 Launch day!
Sixteeen years in the making, today is World IPv6 Launch day. Basically, the IP protocol that underpins fundamental Net protocols such as HTTP, has been in need of a refresh – the world had run out of unique IP addresses.
If we wanted to make room for Internet toasters and fridges or – more seriously – expanding populations, ever more smartphones and commercial interests, then a new regime was required, step forward IPv6 (we have been running v4….)
Vint Cerf, a father of the Internet and Google’s Chief Internet Evangelist writes on the Official Google Blog:
The Internet we’ve relied on so far has space for 2^32 addresses–about 4.3 billion. The new, larger IPv6 expands the limit to 2^128 addresses–more than 340 trillion, trillion, trillion! Enough for essentially unlimited growth for the foreseeable future. Without the rollout of Internet Protocol v6 (IPv6), which formally begins today for participating websites and other organizations on the web, we won’t have the room we need to grow.
Today’s World IPv6 Launch, coordinated by the Internet Society, marks the day that participating websites, Internet Service Providers (ISP), and network hardware manufacturers switch on IPv6 permanently in parallel with IPv4. We’re proud to be one of the founding participants; virtually all Google’s services have been available over IPv6 for a while, but IPv6 access was only available to networks participating in the “Google over IPv6″ program. From now on, they will be made available to any IPv6 network on the Internet (well, almost any).