IPv6 was born in the 1990s and named Internet Protocol – Next Generation, or IPng, by the Internet Engineering Task Force. With the hype surrounding the upcoming IPv6 Day, it is easy to overlook the fact that testing has already been done world wide. Telecom Reseller reports that the first testing environment was established by the IETF’s NGtrans (Next Generation Transition) Working Group, and was called the 6bone. After running its course, it was dismantled in June 2006. A second test network for IPv6 was called the 6REN, the IPv6 Research and Education Network, which deployed IPv6 on an end-to-end basis, with no tunneling involved. In addition, 6NET, a three year project involving 35 organizations representing the commercial, research and academic sectors in 16 different countries concluded in 2005.
“Secondly, given the freeform nature of the Internet, which is largely void of government regulation, it would not be possible to mandate that all devices be upgraded from IPv4 to IPv6. In some cases, that upgrade might not be a technical necessity. Take a small network that runs a manufacturing process – if the devices do not require connectivity to the larger Internet, there would be no need to make the change. Secondly, even if all devices required (or desired) an upgrade, the sheer magnitude of such a migration boggles the mind. (Imagine if all of the routers and computers worldwide made the conversion from IPv4 to IPv6 at midnight on July 1, 2011 – how many millions of devices would need to be upgraded? And what would be the expected outcome?)”