IPv6 Day Goes Smoothly

Back in January, I posted a note here about the scheduling of World IPv6 Day for this past Wednesday, June 8, to provide the first global test of the Internet infrastructure changes needed to support the new IPv6 [Internet Protocol, version 6] addressing scheme.  Several major Internet services, including Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, and Akamai, agreed to take part in a 24-hour test of the new facilities.   Now that the day has come and gone, some reports on the results are beginning to come in.

I guess the most important, and reassuring result, is that the day was a non-event for most Internet users.  Ars Technica has an article giving an overview of some of the results.

Tuesday evening, hundreds of Web destinations, including the four most popular ones worldwide, showed up on the IPv6 Internet. IPv6 traffic went up a lot in relative terms, but still barely registered as a blip on the radar. The 0.05 percent of users who were expected to encounter delays or errors didn’t—or decided to call their Moms, watch TV, or otherwise refrain from complaining.

The test began at midnight UTC (approximately the same as  GMT), so it began Tuesday evening local time for US users.   Some network operators, such as Akami and Hurricane Electric, reported noticeable increases in IPv6 traffic (which was, after all, part of the point); some of this was traffic “tunneled” via IPv4 to the nearest IPv6 gateway.  Google reported, in a post on the Official Google Blog, that it saw about 65% more IPv6 traffic than normal.

We carried about 65% more IPv6 traffic than usual, saw no significant issues and did not have to disable IPv6 access for any networks or services. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be working together with the other participants to analyze the data we’ve collected, but, at least on the surface, the first global test of IPv6 passed without incident.

Some sites experienced relatively minor problems, and others found that constructing an unambiguous test setup was not entirely straightforward, but it seems that, all in all, this first “live” test went fairly well.

There are also brief reports on the test from Facebook, WordPress,  and the SANS Internet Storm Center.

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