Google is paving the way to the future of Internet connectivity by enabling the IPv6 protocol in their services for 24hours in an effort to root out problems that might occur. The IPv6 Day date is 8 June 2011 and along with major web companies such as Facebook and Yahoo!, they will enable IPv6 for a 24hour test run on their main websites.
What is all the fuss about? Well a little story about the old brother of IPv6, the IPv4 internet protocol. Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) is the fourth revision in the development of the Internet Protocol (IP) and it is the first version of the protocol to be widely deployed. IPv4 uses 32-bit addresses, which limits the address space to 4,294,967,296 (232) possible unique addresses. However, some are reserved for special purposes such as private networks (~18 million addresses) or multicast addresses (~270 million addresses). This reduces the number of addresses that can potentially be allocated for routing on the public Internet. As addresses are being incrementally delegated to end users, an IPv4 address shortage has been developing. This limitation has stimulated the development of IPv6, which is currently in the early stages of deployment, and is the only long-term solution.
IPv6 uses a 128-bit address. The new address space supports 2128 (about 3.4×1038
) addresses. That's about 3.400.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000.000 addresses. This expansion provides considerable flexibility in allocating addresses and routing traffic.