Happy IPv6 Day!

Most people take their internet connection for granted as just another magical invention of the modern age.

But those working in IT knew that some day the pool of IP addresses would run dry. The pool was designed to last a very long time, but is now almost empty thanks to the rapid expansion of computing and the proliferation of smart phones, tablets and numerous other gadgets and gizmos. Officially, that day was February 2, 2011, when the last blocks of addresses were assigned to regional provider registries. Each block contains 16.8 million addresses, about the number Verizon can blow through in a single weekend.

Never fear, IPv6 to the rescue! IPv6 is the new protocol using more numbers and characters, expanding the available IP addresses to infinity and beyond. In reality, the number of addresses amount to 340 trillion trillion trillion. Take that, oppressive mobile providers!

Today is the official “test day” for IPv6, where large consumers (i.e Google, Yahoo, Facebook, etc.) will be testing the new protocol. Join in the fun here.

As for the Georgia connection, well, practically everyone in the state uses this technology in some way or other, except for maybe my parents. Shoot, even South Georgia tractors have more connectivity than they do.

So while you are merrily texting/surfing/iPadding away today, thank an IT professional. Most of their work is done behind the scenes. If they hadn’t been on the ball years ago, anticipating this internet event, some poor programmer would be handed a spec today, along with the comment, “Yeah, I know it’s big, but can you have it ready by next Friday?”

2 comments

  1. Nathan says:

    I read about this yesterday. Thanks for bringing it up!

    System Administrators’ Day is on July 29th. Hug your favorite SysAdmin.

    (Full disclosure: I work in IT. We respond well to kind words, awe from non-geeks, and the occasional cookie.)

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