Measuring IPv6 Growth

Several recent sources of IPv6 adoption statistics

People have debated the rate of adoption of IPv6 for years. Many people estimate the worldwide use of IPv6 through their own knot-hole view of the Internet. It is difficult to determine the amount of IPv6 traffic on the Internet because it depends on where you measure. The estimates and measurements have varied widely, but one thing is consistent; the amount of IPv6 Internet traffic is increasing.

IPv6 Deployment Aggregated Status

Eric Vyncke has his "IPv6 Deployment Aggregated Status" site that shows the measurement of web, e-mail, and DNS activity that uses IPv6 transport. His statistics show that there is a higher percentage usage of IPv6 in countries like Slovenia, the Netherlands, Moldova, Norway, Portugal, Indonesia, and Buthan. Countries that have service providers who have deployed IPv6 in their backbones and provide dual-stack Internet connectivity to subscribers help increase the adoption of IPv6 in those countries.

DREN Example

The Defense Research and Engineering Network (DREN) High Performance Computing Modernization Program (HPCMP) has been an aggressive adopter of IPv6. DREN has helped highlight areas for IPv6 improvements and helped pave the way for other organizations moving to IPv6. A recent presentation at the Texas IPv6 Summit showed how DREN has been using IPv6 and monitoring their amount of IPv6 Internet traffic. Several years ago they measured that it was only 1% but grew to 2.5% with Google Whitelisting. Their IPv6 Internet traffic grew to 10% with You Tube's IPv6 adoption and on World IPv6 Day their network had a peak of 68% IPv6 traffic. DREN also has an IPv6 Knowledge Base that contains a large collection of IPv6 resources.

Infoblox

Infoblox published a study based on the results from its IPv6 Census project. Infoblox sponsored a census that reviewed domains in the .com, .net, and .org TLDs to determine which ones supported IPv6 addresses. Today, Infoblox released a press release titled "Internet Census Finds That IPv6 Adoption Grows By 1,900%". This study found that the IPv6 adoption by Go Daddy registrar has a positive impact on IPv6 adoption. The study also revealed that France, the U.S. and the Czech Republic were leading IPv6 adoption. However, this contradicts the information in Eric Vyncke's dataset that shows many other countries are rapidly embracing IPv6.

Even though this article covers many high points of increasing IPv6 adoption it also mentions that there is much work remaining. Infoblox also makes a call out to other registrars and more e-mail servers to start supporting IPv6. Infoblox also has its IPv6 Center of Excellence that provides some very useful IPv6 tools and resources.

Arbor Networks

Arbor Networks has been measuring Internet traffic with their DDOS mitigation solutions for many years. We all remember the World IPv6 Day that took place this year on June 8th. On this single day we witnessed the amount of global IPv6 traffic increase.

Arbor Networks also monitored IPv6 Internet traffic on World IPv6 Day and noted a peak. However, the average traffic volume reported was less (0.04%) presumably because they are measuring traffic over a broader cross-section of the Internet. This clearly shows the large differences in IPv6 Internet traffic volumes that exist based on how you measure traffic and where you take your measurements.

Hurricane Electric

Mike Leber at Hurricane Electric (HE) has recently updated their Global IPv6 Deployment Progress Report. Their report states that "Of the 39,570 networks in the world running BGP, the number running IPv6 has increased to 4,830, or 12.2%. This is an increase from 7.4% just one year ago or 9.5% six months back. The global IPv6 routing table has passed 7000 IPv6 prefixes." They also mention that "Hurricane Electric now has over 7000 BGP sessions with over 1800 IPv4 and IPv6 networks at 45 different exchange points in North America, Europe, and Asia." Another measurement that HE documented is the number of Top Level Domains (TLDs) with IPv6 nameservers. Of the 310 TLDs, 265 (or 85.5%) have IPv6 capability. Today there are well over 3 million registered domains with IPv6 AAAA records. The other thing that HE studies is the number of the Alexa Top 1 million domains that use IPv6. In the past 6 months this has grown from 0.25% to about 1% of these top domains have IPv6 addresses.

Hurricane Electric also makes a lot of IPv6-related resources freely available on their web site. They even offer some interactive IPv6 programming tutorials.

Wikipedia

Wikipedia has a page on "IPv6 Deployment" that shows several growth curves charting IPv6 adoption. This data is based data published by the RIRs and Wikipedia graphs the count of these items. The first graph is of the monthly IPv6 address allocations per Regional Internet Registry (RIR).

IPv6 Prefixes

The second graph is of the number of IPv6 prefixes in the Internet routing tables and the number of ASNs advertizing IPv6 prefixes.

IPv6 Allocations

This data undeniably shows the global growth of IPv6 in recent years.

Comcast IPv6 Adoption Monitor

Another resource that I have mentioned before is the Comcast IPv6 Adoption Monitor. Just browse to their web site and click on the Figures on the left-side of the window. From these graphs we can also see substantial growth of IPv6 adoption.

Conclusions

By looking at these graphs we can see that interest in IPv6 is growing. The core Internet infrastructure is getting IPv6 addresses and Internet ASNs are advertizing those IPv6 address blocks. Core Internet DNS infrastructure has gained IPv6 capabilities and now some of the top web sites are getting IPv6 addresses.

If you haven't started planning for your organization's adoption of IPv6 then maybe these statistics will give you indication that you can no longer ignore IPv6. Scott

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