World IPv6 Day, which brought together leading Internet companies including Google, Yahoo and Facebook, passed without major disruption to the operation of the Internet. The purpose of the 24-hour test, held on 8 June 2011, was to discover potential errors and problems in the simultaneous use of the IPv4 and IPv6 protocols. There were a few problems at the very start of the test, but providers mostly dealt with them quickly.
According to analysis by Eric Vyncke, once again Slovenia proved to be one of the best-prepared countries for the introduction of the new protocol. The analysis measured how many of the largest web portals already provide their content via both protocols. On the day, coordinated in Slovenia by the Slovenian IPv6 initiative Go6, numerous Slovenian providers, such as Telekom Slovenije (www.siol.net, www.najdi.si), RTV Slovenia (www.rtvslo.si), POP TV (www.24ur.com), ARNES (www.arnes.si), APEK (www.apek.si), Simobil (www.simobil.si), T-2 (www.t-2.si), LTFE (www.ltfe.org) and others, prepared access to their content and services.
At the end of the 24-hour period, during which IPv6 traffic passing through the SIX Internet exchange at Arnes increased more than 15-fold, most providers concluded that there are no or only minimal difficulties in simultaneously providing content via both protocols (IPv4 and IPv6). Some Slovenian providers therefore decided to maintain access to their content via both protocols in future: for instance the contents of www.siol.net, www.najdi.si and www.rtvslo.si are today accessible via IPv6.
The main conclusions and findings of World IPv6 Day are that the Internet operated as expected, and that the infrastructure is not itself a problem. Jan Žorž of Go6, who spent World IPv6 Day together with 30 European experts in the RIPE-NCC and ISOC control laboratory in Amsterdam, believes that the human factor could be the biggest problem, if providers do not plan enough for the transition to what is essentially a simple protocol. The Laboratory for Telecommunications Faculty of Electrical Engineering (LTFE) has for some time offered its key web pages via the IPv6 protocol (www.ltfe.org …). Their experience suggests that the new-generation protocol operates perfectly, so that on World IPv6 Day they didn’t encounter any difficulties or any other operational peculiarities. Here at Arnes we too did not encounter any particular difficulties on the day, as we actually began introducing the new protocol back in 2002, and many of our services, including thewww.arnes.si website, have supported IPv6 since 2010.
Google, Facebook and other major providers are – according to Jan Žorž – satisfied with the test results, and are promising to provide some of their services soon via both protocols. He further adds that discussions are already underway for the World IPv6 Week, which should take place later this year.
To make the IPv6 protocol easier to understand, here at Arnes we have also recorded a short presentation video – IPv6 – Don’t Panic.