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Google turns on IPv6 at YouTube and heralds a new age at last

Penguin on ice, stolen from NOAA: chicken and the egg -- you can't have one without the other -- but which one comes first? The same dilemma plagues every industry, but none as much as the tech sector.

Build it and they will come -- but what if they don't come?! You've just wasted millions of dollars -- or billions, in the case of IPv6 infrastructure. But such is life! Someone has to break the ice. Someone has to be the penguin that jumps in first to be eaten by the killer whales -- and in this case, it looks like it's Google with its YouTube service.

YouTube is the third most popular website on the Internet -- and no doubt the largest bandwidth hog in the world -- so it's refreshing and more than a little shocking to see IPv6 enabled with nary a whisper from Google.

The only report we have so far is from a director at Hurricane Electric, an ISP that runs one of the largest IPv6 backbones in the world. Speaking to PC World he said that 30 times more IPv6 traffic is originating from YouTube than before.

But why the big furore? Why is this even news? Well, IPv4 is due to run out of available addresses between now and 2012. With China and India joining the world wide web and connectivity continuing to rise in the EU and US, there simply aren't enough IP addresses to go around. IPv6 will solve that -- and provide enough addresses for any galactic-wide networks we ultimately create -- but it involves a significant investment to get it off the ground.

Go Google!

Tags: google, internet, ipv4, ipv6, network, technology, youtube