Although World IPv6 Launch officially started at midnight UTC on June 6, 2012, a number of websites and network providers have been quietly activating IPv6 in the weeks leading up to official date. Some prominent tracking sites show the steady increase in IPv6 traffic and we should experience a larger burst as at least 2,608 websites and 63 major network operators officially activate IPv6 and leave it on. In fact, some internal Cisco research suggests that close to 30% of pages viewed on the Internet globally will be reachable over IPv6 once all of the sites go live.
IPv6 is here to stay. The Internet Engineering Task Force best practices now declare that all new IP implementations must include IPv6 and can no longer require IPv4 in order to function. After many years of development and preparation, we can finally experience first-hand the evolution of the foundation protocol of the Internet.
Based on experience from World IPv6 Day in 2011, and the run up to World IPv6 Launch, we expect the transition to be largely invisible to most people. If you suspect you have IPv6 related issues trying to reach any of the sites participating in World IPv6 Launch, there are a number of sites to help you perform quick diagnostics.
- http://test-ipv6.com will report if you have an IPv6 address and will test a number of common connectivity issues.
- http://ipv6eyechart.ripe.net/ will test IPv4 and IPv6 connectivity to 50 popular sites at one time.
- The ARIN IPv6 Wiki provides a collaborative space to track IPv6 related deployment issues and a host of diagnostic tips.
If you'd like to know what protocol you actually are using in your web browser, the IPvFox plugin for Firefox and the IPvFoo plugin for Chrome can help you see which parts of a page are served by IPv4 and which by IPv6. This process is less tedious than trying to tease the information out of the assorted command line tools like netstat.
As you activate IPv6 in your own network, you can read some useful historical blogs to learn about IPv6 Security, IPv6 Planning, IPv6 Deployment, and IPv6 in general. You can also read about the experience of rolling out IPv6 inside Cisco.
Of course, the IPv6 Support Forum and the Cisco Technical Assistance Center stand ready to provide you any IPv6 related help that you need with your Cisco Network. And if you need help rolling out IPv6 in your own network, look at the services offered by Cisco systems to help you.