Microsoft joined other members of the Internet Society to announce the World IPv6 Launch. This is the start of an industry effort to permanently enable the next generation of Internet Protocol – Ipv6.
The goal is that major ISPs, equipment manufacturers, and web companies all over the world are trying to permanently enable IPv6 on their services and devices by June the 6th of this year. Last year, the first World Launch occurred (June 8, 2011), which was a one-day, coordinated event where IPv6 was enabled to demonstrate its successful function.
The IPv6 protocol is intended to replace the IPv4 protocol in use on the Internet today, and which has run out of available IPs. IPv4 was a 32-bit protocol, with addresses commonly shown as four octets – numbers between zero and two hundred and fifty-five, separated by periods (e.g. 192.168.0.1). There were about four billion addresses mathematically possible in that protocol.
IPv6 is 128-bit based, which means there will be virtually unlimited numbers of available addresses -340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 or 3.4×1038 possible addresses. This is important in that the number of computers, phones and other devices that use IP addresses has been growing at an enormous rate over the past decades. The new protocol will enable enough addresses to keep us all connected for some time to come!
If your home or business network are not yet ready to make the leap to IPv6, not to worry. It will be enabled in parallel with the existing IPv4 protocol, and both systems will run together for some time.
For more detailed information about the Launch, see their web site, and their FAQ, at http://www.worldipv6launch.org/