RIPE NCC, the not-for-profit organisation that supports the infrastructure of the internet, will be monitoring the websites of organisations taking part in World IPv6 Day on June 8.
'World IPv6 Day' is the first global-scale trial of IPv6, the long-anticipated upgrade to the internet's main communications protocol known as IPv4. Several of the internet's most popular websites - including Facebook, Google and Yahoo – have agreed to take part.
IPv4 was first developed in 1977 and then it was believed the bundle of 4.3 billion addresses, which allow devices to access the web, would be more than enough. However, the last five blocks of IPv4 address space were allocated to each of the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) in February. It is thought that by the end of August, all of these addresses will have been used up. As a result, the alternative IPv6 standard must be used, but net firms have been slow to switch to the standard.
RIPE NCC will also be testing connectivity and performance of the sites and displaying the results on its IPv6 Eye Chart, allowing web users to see if there are any problems.
"With IPv4 exhaustion fast approaching, it is vital that Internet services are accessible over both IPv4 and IPv6. At the same time, ISPs will have to offer production grade IPv6 connectivity. This is the only way to ensure a consistent user experience once we reach IPv4 exhaustion," explains Daniel Karrenberg, chief scientist, RIPE NCC.
"Operational experience and measurements on World IPv6 Day will help content providers and ISPs to identify and rectify any potential problems with delivering services over IPv6."