Facebook has begun using IPv6, the company said today, joining a growing number of leading Internet networks that have deployed the next generation of the Internet Protocol. Facebook made its announcement at the Google IPv6 Implementors Conference, where leading Internet infrastructure firms shared their deployment experiences. For those interested in the technical details of the announcement, Facebook's presentation is available on the conference web site.
IPv6 will dramatically expand the number of addresses available for web sites, as well as millions of mobile devices with Internet access. The The number of allocatable IP addresses under v4 has dropped below 263 million, according to the IPv4 Countdown Twitter feed, which projects that a 419-day supply of IPv4 addresses.
Facebook described the IPv6 version of the site as "experimental." With more than 400 million users, Facebook represents one of the largest sources of Internet traffic. Facebook's IPv6 routes run through Hurricane Electric (see chart) which has been an early and active adopter of IPv6.
Why is IPv6 important? Last year we spoke with John Curran, President and CEO of the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN), who provides a helpful overview of the IPv6 transition and what it may mean for providers, leading web sites, and you. This video runs about 9 minutes.