(The Hosting News) – The long-awaited debut of IPv6 has finally hit the web, and it’s done so in an extremely large way. On the internet, the number of IP addresses alone has expanded to “340 trillion trillion trillion,” according to a report from CNN Money (Btw, that’s considered in the undicillions).
Just some of the companies turning on IPv6 compatibility include AT&T, Comcast, Google, Yahoo!, Cisco and more. Today’s official launch follows another event held one year ago in which top internet presences tested the protocol.
So exactly what’s all the IPv6 talk about? The introduction of the platform replaces the previous protocol known as IPv4. IPv4 is used to translate web addresses into actual digital coding, making sites available to view. In other words, it plays an integral role in the function of the web. The only problem is that the web was running out of available IPv4 addresses. The solution? Make it possible to feature more digits in an IP address. That’s where IPv6 came into being. It features expanded capability for just that.
Meanwhile, while today may mark the official launch through top web presences, it’s a platform that’s been in the works for quite sometime. In the hosting community, it’s an especially important issue. For example, cloud provider Host Virtual began offering it way back in 2008. Final availability for IPv4 was previously depleted in February of 2008.
In a CNET interview yesterday, Internet co-founder (that’s how he’s commonly regarded) Vint Cerf applauded IPv6’s launch while noting the complexity of the matter. “This is not puffery. It is incredibly hard, painstaking work by engineers looking to make sure that every line of code that “knows” an IP address is 32 bits long in a certain format also “knows” that it could also be in IPv6 format, 128 bits long,” commented Cerf.
“This is a major accomplishment for ISPs and application providers around the world. The router and edge device providers have mostly done their homework years ago, but the ISPs and app providers are largely just getting there,” continued the man who’s currently chief internet evangelist for Google.
Will the implementation of IPv6 actually disrupt functionality on the web? Surely not. But if you want to make sure you’re ready for the new platform, there is a testing option provided for through http://test-ipv6.com/.