The launch of the world’s new Internet Protocol, IPv6, has started. With official participation of over 3000 website operators, 50 network operators, and multiple home networking vendors, this is the largest concerted effort to move the industry towards IPv6 ever. Building upon the success of last year’s test run on World IPv6 Day, the Internet Society, with strong support from industry leaders, decided last January not merely to test IPv6 again, but to turn it on and leave it on.
As with a rocket launch into space, this is a moment where the herculean efforts of individuals from across the globe have converged to set off a chain reaction of events towards a common goal. The goal in our case is nothing less than retrofitting one of the largest operational systems mankind has ever created with a new foundation to help propel the Internet to the stratospheric levels of growth and innovation the world has come to expect.
Cisco has been preparing for some time and is proud to be among the founding participants of the World IPv6 Launch. Cisco has now permanently enabled IPv6 on www.cisco.com and has IPv6 enabled by default throughout our line of Linksys E-series home routers. We are rolling out IPv6 progressively across our own enterprise network, are leading the way in IPv6 Certifications, and our solutions for IPv6 deployment are in use by service provider and enterprise network operators across the globe. Most importantly, we will be continuing to work closely with our customers, Cisco Services, and development teams to ensure that any problems that may arise are addressed as quickly and efficiently as possible during this critical phase of deployment.
This is a giant leap forward for the Internet, but there is still much work to do in order to release our dependence on IPv4 and allow IPv6 to reach its full potential. While we now have websites representing a majority of Internet traffic advertising their IPv6 reachability to the entire world, the majority of new Internet connected devices shipping with IPv6 built-in, and more Internet Service Providers than ever before enabling IPv6 for their customers as part of normal business, we will have to fly with both protocols at the same time for several years before we get to the point where we can cut loose our first-stage IPv4 engines and soar to new heights without them weighing us down. We have certainly left the platform now though, and are on a clear trajectory toward significant and sustained growth of the Internet based on its widespread adoption of IPv6.
Congratulations to everyone who helped to make this historic launch happen. Because of your vision, dedication, and hard work, IPv6 has left the laboratory and entered the mainstream. The world has its new Internet Protocol.