8th February, 2011
Yahoo is forging ahead with a move to install an IPv6 on its main Web site by year-end despite worriesÂ that up to one million Internet users may be unable to access it initially.
Yahooâ€™s massive engineering effort to support IPv6, the long-anticipated upgrade to the Internetâ€™sÂ main communications protocol, could at first shut out potential www.yahoo.com users due to what theÂ company and others call â€œIPv6 brokenness.â€™â€™
Yahoo has been one of the most vocal Internet companies to express concern about industry estimatesÂ that 0.05% of Internet users will be unable to access Web sites that support both IPv6 and the currentÂ standard, IPv4.
IPv6 experts say some Internet users will experience slowdown or have trouble connecting toÂ IPv6-enabled Web sites because they have misconfigured or misbehaving network equipment, primarily inÂ their home networks. Corporate users also could experience IPv6 brokenness because of faulty firewallÂ settings.
The Internet Societyâ€™s estimate that 0.05% of users will be unable to reach IPv6-enabled content mayÂ seem miniscule, but it actually represents around one million Internet users based on estimates thatÂ two billion people access the Internet.
â€œThe numbers are going to vary from site to site, but itâ€™s definitely very critical that everybodyÂ understands that when they do make themselves available through both IPv4 and IPv6 at the same timeÂ what impact there will be on a small percentage of users,â€ says Jason Fesler, an IPv6 architect withÂ Yahoo.
Fesler explained that for end users with IPv6 brokenness, Web sites that support IPv6 and IPv4Â simultaneously in whatâ€™s called dual-stack mode will appear to be suffering from an outage.
â€œA certain number of users do have IPv6 on their systems, but they have it configured in such a wayÂ that their system believes they have a working IPv6 Internet connection when in reality they donâ€™t. OrÂ their Web site browser will prefer IPv6,â€ Fesler explains. â€œThis will result in timeouts that can beÂ anywhere from 5 seconds to several minutes. From an end userâ€™s point of view, the first major Web siteÂ that goes dual-stack is going to appear broken while other Web sites will appear to be up.â€