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Google's leading, but where do other Web giants stand on IPv6?

Facebook, eBay planning their moves; Microsoft, Twitter play close to vest

By , Network World
February 04, 2010 12:36 PM ET

Page 2 of 2

Here's where seven of the Internet's top Web sites stand in terms of IPv6 development:

1. Google

Google is the undisputed leader in IPv6 adoption. Google supports IPv6 with its Search, Alerts, Docs, Finance, Gmail, Health, iGoogle, News, Reader, Picasa, Maps, Wave, Chrome and Android products. Last week, Google added IPv6 support to YouTube. Google engineers have said they want to be ready with IPv6-enabled content when ISPs begin giving their customers IPv6 addresses.

2. Facebook

With more than 350 million active users -- 65 million of them accessing the site through mobile devices -- Facebook is planning its deployment of native IPv6 to its network backbone. Facebook says it wants to support both IPv4- and IPv6-aware clients. A company spokeswoman says Facebook "fully expect[s] to support native IPv6 user requests by the midpoint of this year."

3. eBay

Leading e-commerce site eBay has IPv6 running in its lab and will deploy IPv6 on its internal corporate network in the next six to eight months, Manzella says. "In terms of the Web site eBay.com, we will begin a phased approach of moving to IPv6 by the end of this year," he says. "It will be completed by the middle of next year."

4. Yahoo

Yahoo is an active participant in the IPv6 community, discussing the topic at Internet Society and North American Network Operators' Group (Nanog) meetings. Yahoo has started IPv6 peering around the world with various ISPs. It isn't serving up Web pages to IPv6 users yet, but a company spokesman says the popular portal plans to support IPv6 "as soon as possible."

5. Microsoft

Microsoft operates two of the Internet's most popular Web sites: Windows Live, with its Bing search engine, and the Microsoft Network, also known as MSN. While Microsoft wouldn't respond to our queries about when these two sites will be IPv6 enabled, we were able to find IPv6 traffic coming from the autonomous system numbers that power these Web sites. We also found Microsoft engaged in IPv6 peering arrangements with at least nine carriers worldwide including Hurricane Electric, the Internet's leading IPv6 backbone network.

6. Wikipedia

The free online encyclopedia won't say when its main Web site will support IPv6. But Wikipedia IPv6-enabled its mail server and bug tracker application in 2008. Other miscellaneous services such as lists.wikimedia.org, svn.wikimedia.org and download.wikimedia.org also can be reached via IPv6. Back in 2006, Wikipedia briefly turned on IPv6 services but shut them down because of performance problems.

7. Twitter

Twitter wouldn't comment on its IPv6 plans. As of August 2009, 19% of Americans said they used Twitter, according to a Pew Internet Life survey. These Twitter users are more mobile than average Internet users, with 40% of them accessing the Internet via cell phones. This trend means Twitter is under the gun to provide IPv6 support before carriers such as Verizon roll out their next-generation mobile networks, which mandate IPv6 support.

Read more about lans & wans in Network World's LANs & WANs section.

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