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by Mike Zazaian September 6, 2006 - 3:35pm, 36 Comments

Windows Vista

Internet analysts fear that Vista’s use of two internet protocols may put heavy loads on servers and cause sporadic blackouts around the web.

Microsoft’s choice to use two internet protocals on Windows Vista may turn their new operating system into a black sheep. Vista is the first version of Windows to adopt IPv6, which allows for a broader range of internet addresses, meant to accomodate future generations of WiFi and bluetooth enabled media devices. Problem is, in order to remain standards compliant, the current standard IPv4 will also be used. This will force Vista to make both an IPv4 and and IPv6 request each time a page is visited, causing a double-dose of DNS traffic.

Paul Mockapetris, the man credited for creating the internet’s modern DNS (Domain Name System), was recently interviewed by the New York Times about the matter. In the interview Mockapetris expressed his concern that this problem with Vista might be enough to cause serious slowdowns around the web:

If you adopt Vista, your DNS traffic is going to double. You’re going to see brownouts. All of a sudden, it is going to be mud season on the Internet, where things will just be kind of slow and gooey.

Other industry analysts aren’t so worried about the DNS problem, however. While many agree that there will be slowdowns, it’s not widely thought that outages will occur. Dan Kaminsky, an independant internet researcher, is more optimisitic about the possible outcomes of the DNS problem:

Vista, due to its support for IPv6, will cause somewhat higher load on name servers as it checks to see which protocol to use. But this is not the stuff that blackouts are made of.

In the end, it’s a necessary step that Microsoft is making toward supporting a wider range of media devices. Whether slowdowns will occur around the internet remains to be seen, but such is the price of better expandibility for what will be Microsoft’s flagship OS for the next five years.

[Via cnet]