Expect the unexpected on IPv6 Day: ISOC-AU

The Internet Society of Australia (ISOC-AU) has advised IT departments to expect the unexpected when World IPv6 Day kicks off on the 8 June.

The internet organisation’s vice president, Narelle Clark, said it was unclear whether any issues would arise on the day, during which 225 organisation from across the globe will enable IPv6 on their main services for 24 hours.

“Over the years different application software has developed dependencies on IP addresses that perhaps they shouldn't have. People may or may not have tested for these dependencies, so we don't really know what will happen,” Clark said.

Clark quashed suggestions that the event of Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) addresses running out would be as bad as the Y2K bug 12 years ago.

“The good thing about Y2K was that it had a date to work towards: 1 Jan 2000,” she said. “Giving people this day to work towards has been a great help to focus attention to the problem.

“We need IP addresses to continue to grow the Internet, it has innumerable benefits, and we need to keep it open and accessible.”

Despite participation of large Australian players, including Internode, AARNet, and Netregistry, Clark admitted to feeling both heartened and disheartened at the industry response.

“I've met a lot of people who are keen to make the move, and are making it, and also a lot of people who are keen, but just haven't been able to work it into their schedule.

“The smaller, boutique hosting providers have been fantastic, providing free services, and promotion to their customers,” she said. “Then there are a number of larger organisations who are participating - but on the quiet.”

ISOC-AU has warned that with IPv4 addresses running out this year, the industry must act promptly to ramp up the IPv6 adoption or risk increased costs and limited functionality online for Internet users.

“If people don't have a connection to the IPv6 Internet [on the day] they will be missing sites, but they won't know it except for the web sites that have a button or graphic on their pages to say - 'sorry you're IPv4',” Clark said.

“There may be some oddness about connectivity for some older web browsers - old Mac, PC and even Linux versions - may not default back to IPv4 if they have an IPv6 address for a site but can't find a path across the Internet to that site.”

In preparation, ISOC-AU has developed test sites, resource sites and fact sheets to support the migration to IPv6.

Follow Chloe Herrick on Twitter: @chloe_CW

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU


Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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