The global launch of IPv6 last month went without a hitch. All the companies involved can pat themselves on the back for a job well done. While some of the companies haven’t fully detailed their involvement in the launch, Netflix has been surprisingly open about the challenges of dealing with IPv6.
The launch of IPv6 for Netflix was all about making sure nobody lost their service while they made the change. That’s why they focused exclusively on the PC/Mac platforms for the launch because they met all the requirements needed for the switch. The interesting part is the problems they ran into.
Due to the large amounts of data they process, it was found that there was a leak in the IPv6 code that caused the cache that processes the IPv6 to hang. It just goes to show you that IPv6 can not be treated the same as IPv4 when programming for it. In a similar vein, they wanted to use a program that bypasses DNS on IPv4 on IPv6, but found that they are not compatible.
It’s important to note that IPv6 is still largely prone to bugs and other mishaps. Netflix had to start with only one state getting IPv6 support and then expanding it as things began to go well. Switching to IPv6 is not as simple as flicking a switch and Netflix’ experience proves that.
IPv6 is growing steadily and Netflix can be thanked for that. It was found that they contributed to the highest gains in IPv6 traffic when it launched. They also have the second largest domain processing IPv6 traffic.
IPv6 is the future of the internet and it’s here to stay. It’s pretty awesome to see consumer applications like Netflix are leading the charge instead of the more tech-savvy applications. It shows that demand for IPv6 is strong and consumers are pushing the trend.