Noah Meyerhans

The weblog

World IPv6 Day at Mozilla

The Internet changed yesterday. Did you notice? If not, we did it right. Mozilla was one of hundreds of participants in World IPv6 Day, both “the largest experiment in Internet history” and “the nerdiest holiday ever”.

Mozilla added IPv6 connectivity to the following sites:

In addition, we’ve been running IPv6 on our desktops, laptops, and other devices in our Mountain View, CA office for several months.

Making major architectural to something as large and widely distributed as the Internet is not an easy task. The IPv6 migration effort has been under way since the mid 1990’s, and is likely to take another decade or longer. Yesterday, however, was a unique and significant milestone in that long process. For the first time ever, users with IPv6 network connectivity would use the new version of the protocol by default when accessing major Internet sites. This is significant because IPv4 and IPv6 will need to coexist for years to come, and major web sites will need to reliably serve users regardless of the protocol in use. Even users who only have IPv4 connectivity, which is still the vast majority of the Internet, participated in World IPv6 Day by helping site administrators around the world gain experience in running in “dual-stack” mode.

While World IPv6 Day only required a 24 hour commitment from website operators, we at Mozilla rather enjoy living in the future, and don’t plan on going back to the old IPv4-only Internet. Barring something unforeseen, we don’t plan on shutting down our ability to serve our web sites via IPv6 in the foreseeable future. To the contrary, we expect to be adding IPv6 to more services in the coming weeks. For example, two major services that we provide, and, weren’t ready in time for World IPv6 Day, but we expect to have them working via IPv6 this summer.

IPv6 is important to the future of the Internet, not only because it will allow continued growth into new regions of the world and new markets such as mobile, but also because it re-enforces the end-to-end principle that is fundamental to open Internet access. Although World IPv6 Day is drawing to a close, the effort behind it is ongoing. Mozilla looks forward to a continuing role at the forefront of the evolution of the Internet.