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Vint Cerf on IPv6 Trial: ‘The Internet Is Not Going to Melt Down’

BY Jenny Marder  June 8, 2011 at 6:02 PM EDT

Good news. The Internet is not going to melt down, says Google’s Vint Cerf. Cerf is an Internet pioneer, one of its founders and architects, and creator of the first original protocol, known as IPv4. His title at Google is vice president and “Chief Internet Evangelist.”

Recently, IP addresses have been dwindling. Asia has run out and the some 4.3 billion addresses available are not nearly enough to handle demand.  Wednesday, which was dubbed World IPv6 Day, marked the test run of the transition to the next-generation addressing system, Internet Protocol Version 6, known as IPv6. And from initial reports, it appeared to go without a hitch.

Hari Sreenivasan spoke with Cerf for more on the Internet’s early days and his thoughts on the IPv6 test drive. Part of their discussion appears on Wednesday’s NewsHour broadcast, but we had a few more questions including just how big a number 3.4 x10^38, or 3.4 trillion trillion trillion, really is.

When you started this experiment back in the 1970s, what were you trying to build?

 

4.3 billion IP addresses?  Just how big is that?

 

So far today, have you seen any red flags or concerns?