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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Experiment That Has Never Ended

With IP addresses becoming more and more precious, as we reach the 4.3 billion network address limit, Vint Cerf the man in charge of making the decision 30 years ago says “We had no idea it would turn into the world’s global communications network.”

“It was 1977,” Mr. Cerf said, in an interview last week. “We thought we were doing an experiment.”
“The problem was, the experiment never ended,” 
At current estimates we will run out of IP addresses within the next 12 to 18 months  and the transition to the new system, Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6), is well under way. However, the current IPv4 and the new IPv6 are incompatible and there is some concern over how to transition from one to the next. In response Yahoo, Google and Facebook, whose combined traffic is more than a billion visits a day, have agreed to participate in a trial run on June 8, named World IPv6 Day. The participants are hoping that this experiment will shed some light on potential gotchas. 
“I almost wish we could train the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts to come to people’s houses to help out with this,” said Mr. Cerf, now chief Internet evangelist at Google. “This is not just about adding extra numbers,” he said. “It’s a different system.”
Sounds like June 6th is a day to circle on your calendar, or perhaps June 7th...