Last year, a number of the worlds largest companies transferred IPv6 for 24 hours as a test run to determine whether it would work as predicted. June the 8th came and went without the Internet breaking, companies imploding, or the sky falling in – much to the relief of the pro-IPv6 camp.

Six months down the track, leading Internet firms have set 6 June as the World IPv6 launch day, with web companies participating in the event pledging to enable IPv6 on their main websites from said date.

The Internet Society, which made the announcement, said the day represented; “a major milestone” in the deployment of the standard with Facebook, Google, Microsoft Bing and Yahoo set to be the inaugural web firms involved.

IPv6 is key to the continued growth of the Internet and it is essential that industry deals with the switch-over before there is an impact on the Internet. With the likes of Facebook and Google committing to the cross over in the summer, the spotlight will now be as much on other large multinationals, as on smaller companies to now follow suit.

The consensus is that there will be few problems with consumer and end-user technology and accessibility; rather the greater danger lies within the corporate network infrastructures, especially with the growth in the number of smartphones, PCs and other web enabled devices being used increasingly on corporate networks.

As service providers and enterprises add IPv6 enabled devices to their networks, it is imperative that the networks are designed to efficiently support the simultaneous use of both IPv4 and IPv6.

To support this, it is important to utilise a set of dual-protocol networking solutions with embedded support for the high-speed switching and routing of independent IPv4 and IPv6 traffic on the same router, as well as IPv6/IPv4 transition mechanisms. For the time being, the dual-stack technologies available are set to be the most operationally effective and also the most cost efficient.

The announcement of an official IPv6 launch day has added extra impetus to a subject that began last June, and has once again showcased the issues set to impact businesses in the not too distant future.

Although the count down to IPv6 deployment is well and truly on for many, the announcement will serve to remind companies of the various options available if they are not taking the full IPv6 plunge on June 6th, and as such, should be heeded.