Richi Jennings

World IPv6 Day arrives; World shrugs

June 08, 2011 5:55 AM EDT
World IPv6 Day By Richi Jennings (@richi) - June 8, 2011.

Updated with pragmatic hints and tips. Today is World IPv6 Day. "Ho-hum," I hear you say? Should we celebrate, or is it just an excuse for network equipment vendors to sell overpriced, unnecessary gear? In IT Blogwatch, bloggers get all dual-stacked.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: the hilarious angry customer ejected from movie theater for texting...

Carolyn Duffy Marsan reports about "IPv6 brokenness":
IPv6, which features an expanded addressing scheme, is an upgrade to the Internet's [current] protocol ... IPv4. ... The problem of IPv6 brokenness will be significant today ... because there are 418 [organizations] participating in ... World IPv6 Day. One of the primary goals ... is to determine the magnitude of IPv6 brokenness.
The term refers to PCs and smartphones that have IPv6 addresses. ... However, these systems do not have end-to-end IPv6 connectivity due to misconfigurations. ... These systems will suffer delays and timeouts when they try to visit websites running IPv6. ... Comcast is offering a free tool on its website that allows customers to test whether their IPv6 configurations are broken. ... Nominum is offering similar tools that allow network operators to test the completeness of IPv6 support.
The Internet engineering community has been publicizing World IPv6 Day [so] Internet users will understand what's going on if they experience problems [today].   M0RE
Lawrence Latif reminds us that IPv6 is about more than just a bigger address space:
In many ways IANA announcing the allocation of the final IPv4 blocks was a watershed moment for IPv6 deployment. ... Verisign is suggesting that customers consider all aspects of IPv6 ... [including] security of services such as email and third party applications.
[The] advice for companies still on the fence about investing in IPv6 is to get off ... before it ends up becoming a significant cost. When asked whether it is too late to start ... Danny McPherson, chief security officer at Verisign ... said, "I can say that if you've not obtained budget in play ... then you're likely behind the curve."   M0RE

But your humble blogwatcher begs to differ:
Estimates have it that we're going to run out of IPv4 addresses in a year or two. ... However, a moment's critical thought tells me that's ... bunkum.
We've already seen the emergence of an aftermarket for IPv4 addresses. ... the market has spoken. Several brokers have emerged ... the market can step in and neatly solve this problem, without regulatory interference. ... The scope is huge for aftermarket sales of unused IP addresses.
Many organizations are essentially hoarding IP addresses. ... [For example] HP actually owns two ... "/8" blocks, [each] of 16,777,216 IP addresses. ... Hey, Léo, why don't you ... see about giving back some of those addresses you don't need, huh?
Yes, IPv6 is important for other reasons. This shouldn't stop the industry from continuing its move to IPv6, but don't ... be conned into changing your older equipment before the end of its natural life.   M0RE
Undaunted, Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols clarifies the Day's objective, offering tools galore:
What’s that? ... It’s both a way to encourage ISPs, CDNs, and Web sites to ... see what, if anything goes wrong when they try to support both TCP/IP networking protocols at once. ... With any luck at all, those of you who are usually regular old run-of-the-mill Internet connections won’t notice a thing.
One easy way to check out your connection, and how the sites participating in World IPv6 Day are doing is with the ... IPv6 Eye Chart. ... If you’re a Windows 7 user, there’s already a specific fix for connecting to dual-stacked IPv4/IPv6 networks.  M0RE
Meanwhile, Adrian Bridgwater counts on the fingers of several hands:
IPv6 being 128-bit ... gives a maximum of 340 undecillion possible addresses. Undecillion is 10 to the power of 36. 
So what you say? ... It's the so-called 'Internet of Things' right? ... Your milk carton will have an RFID tag on it to let your ... fridge know that it has gone off ... [which] then automatically orders ... new milk and your auto-payment system takes that out of your bank account. 
But are we ready for all this? ... Answer: umm, probably not.  M0RE
Colt's Nicolas Fischbach offers pragmatic hints and tips:
2011 is the year when most businesses will need to do at least some research, planning and budgeting. ... [It] will mostly depend on the nature of your business and which region of the world you serve.
There won't be a switchover day nor a specific deadline ... to support IPv6 which makes ... the business case more difficult. ... IPv4 and IPv6 will coexist for many years.
Train your staff ... Even if you don't deploy IPv6 now, others on the Internet are.
[This] may be a good opportunity to finally get rid of some of the ... legacy equipment or refresh ... your IT infrastructure.
There is a common misconception that because IPv6 supports IPsec ... all communications will be encrypted.  M0RE

And Finally...
Hilarious voicemail: Angry customer ejected from movie theater for texting
(If more theaters did this, I might start going to the movies again)
[hat tip: Esther Schindler -- where you'll also find the uncensored version]

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Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcherRichi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. He's the creator and main author of Computerworld's IT Blogwatch -- for which he has won American Society of Business Publication Editors and Jesse H. Neal awards on behalf of Computerworld. He also writes The Long View for IDG Enterprise. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.