Google warns of potential disruption in IPv6 trial
Google has warned that some users might struggle to connect to some of the web’s biggest sites during today’s test of the next generation internet platform, IPv6.
IPv6 Day today brings together hundreds of major internet players – including Google, Microsoft and Facebook – to put the protocol through its paces to test its readiness for wider uptake.
IPv6 will overcome the drastic shortage of available IP addresses – offering 340 undecillion addresses – but the major network shift will not be without glitches, participating companies warned.
“In all likelihood, you won’t even notice the test,” said Lorenzo Colitti, Google’s network engineer and IPv6 Samurai, on the company blog.
“The vast majority (99.95%) of people will be able to access services without interruption: either they’ll connect over IPv6, or their systems will successfully fall back to IPv4.
“However, as with any next-generation technology, there may be teething pains. We estimate that .05% of systems may fail to fall back to IPv4, so some people may find Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Bing and other participating websites slow or unresponsive on World IPv6 Day.”
The company blamed potential problems on misconfigured or misbehaving home networking equipment, such as routers, that could make a computer think it had IPv6 connectivity when it wasn’t working.
Like other companies participating in the test programme, Google said it had set up a test and notification process for people struggling to connect to IPv6 services, with a prominent notice in search results directing lost souls to a help article.