Companies are gearing up for June 8 – World IPv6 Day – and are readying to test Websites and technologies for compliance with the long-awaited, next-generation Internet protocol.
The Internet Society (ISOC) is coordinating the 24-hour test of IPv6 for entities around the world. (For more, see Why Care About IPv6?). One of the goals of World IPv6 Day is to expose potential issues with Websites deploying IPv6 under controlled conditions.
Nominum, a provider of Domain Name System (DNS) solutions for network operators, will provide a free IPv6 Readiness Program whereby existing and prospective customers can use Nominum software, services and expertise to test IPv6 support in their networks. (Editor’s note: DNS is a hierarchical naming system that translates domain names [like www.cable360.net/ct] into numerical IP addresses.)
Cable operators have been preparing their networks for the eventual transition to the new protocol and will be supporting the test on World IPv6 Day. Some cablecos like Bright House Networks, Charter, Comcast, Cox, GCI and Time Warner Cable will also be conducting limited subscriber tests of this new IPv6 Internet connection technology to determine how their subscribers will interact with their Websites and those of Facebook, Google, Yahoo!, Akamai, Limelight Networks and others that enable IPv6 in addition to IPv4.
Those subscribers with IPv6-enabled devices should be able to use the new protocol that day, while other subscribers will continue to use IPv4 as they do now. Some devices with older operating systems or router software, particularly in home networks, may experience impaired access to participating Websites during the trial.
But, according to John Arledge, senior director/corporate marketing with Nominum, World IPv6 Day is "more of an infrastructure test than a consumer test."
For testing purposes, Nominum’s IPv6 Readiness Program will give access to the company’s IPv6-compliant Vantio Intelligent DNS System and its ANS Premier for caching and authoritative DNS software as well as to the Dynamic Configuration Server for DHCP software.
When a browser sends a request to Google, for example, "There are many components in the infrastructure that need to handle an IPv6 request, but also provide the same experience as IPv4," said Hari Krishnan, director/product management at Nominum.
Help will be available from Nominum’s technical support team, if needed.
Cable and IPv6
At a CableLabs IPv6 Summit in April, cable operators and other content providers shared strategies for helping to ensure a positive subscriber experience on World IPv6 Day. Such discussions included potential responses to customer issues with devices on their home networks, and customer-care troubleshooting information on the IPv6 transition.
Following World IPv6 Day, the NCTA’s 2011 Cable Show in Chicago’s McCormick Place will host the IPv6 Summit on June 14. The summit – a one-day immersive dive into the transition – will feature panel discussions and a keynote address from John Curran, president and CEO of the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN). In addition, The Cable Show will feature an IPv6 Pavilion on the show floor, offering a look at IPv6-enabled consumer devices.