Progress Being Made on IPv6 Launch Day Anniversary

Carl Weinschenk

IPv6 has not been in the news as much this year as last, suggesting that the situation has evolved from one in which proponents are trying to get the rest of the telecom and IT industries on board by making a lot of noise to one in which the actual methodical and non-newsworthy work of implementing the new addressing protocol has moved center stage.

Proselytizing is noisy. Hard work usually is not.

Last Thursday was the anniversary of World IPv6 Day, on which organizations and networks were encouraged to permanently flip the IPv6 switch to the on position. Roughly a year before, the first event – a call for temporary turn up – was held.

There was no big day this year, perhaps because the Internet Society, which spearheaded the events in 2011 and 2012, had made their point. Enterprise Networking Planet’s Sean Michael Kerner writes that Phil Roberts, the Society’s technology program manager, sees that progress has been made.

For instance, Duetsche Telekom has moved from essentially no participation to a top 10 user of IPv6. There also are other good signs, he told Kerner:

Other operators have also experienced growth in deploying IPv6 capabilities over the last year, with AT&T growing from 4 to 9 percent and Verizon Wireless growing from 7 to 31 percent.

As expected, enterprise uptake has been slower, Roberts said. The movement of enterprises to the cloud, many of which employ IPv6, could offer an opportunity for progress, Roberts said.

CircleID describes metrics that have been established to measure both network readiness and actual use of IPv6. Mirjam Kuehne writes that Google and the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC) report, respectively, that 1.48 percent and 1.29 percent of users can access IPv6. The numbers represent roughly a doubling from a year ago. APNIC is one of four regional authorities for IP addresses.

The bulk of Kuehne’s story discusses how another of the regional authorities, The Réseaux IP Européens Network Coordination Centre (RIPE NCC), measures IPv6 readiness. It is a star-based system. A fully ready local Internet registry (LIR) gets four stars based on criteria related to whether it had received IPv6 addresses and the stage they are at in network implementation.

Clearly, progress is being made. Dark Reading offers some good data points. For instance, Akamai reports the delivery of more than 10 billion requests per day using IPv6, a 250 percent growth rate during the past year. The bottom line is that the network operators appear to have gotten the message. Whether enterprises haven’t – or have and just are using different implementation calendars – is a question to be asked (and perhaps even answered) during the next few months.

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