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IPv6: Bring on Your Content!

Yves Poppe

Late last year a colleague quipped: you spent one third of your time on IPv6 this year, yet it still only generates 1% or so of the traffic. What are the chances of him uttering the same sentence coming December with IPv6 traffic still hovering barely over the one percent mark?

Discussions in the Belgian IPv6 Council mailing list in which I participate and Eric Vyncke's tally of websites offering IPv6 access on his site led to the observation that Belgian content hosters should be targeted to see more IPv6 accessible content. Some of them lamented about the complexity and cost and the lack of demand, well honed arguments of procrastinators all over the world.

Then came a rather stunning e-mail from French hoster Gandi to their customers announcing that on january 6th IPv6 would be activated in autoconfiguration and that the customers' server would inherit automatically and at no cost an IPv6 address! Customers could opt out if they did not want IPv6. Details on the IPv6 implementation can be found on their website. Congratulations, Gandi and thank you for dispelling the myth that making content IPv6 accessible has to be a formidable and titanic undertaking.

Adding fuel to the IPv6 accessible content cause, ISOC just announced that June 8th would be World IPv6 day with some of the major content providers and hosters on board including Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Akamai and Limelight . This IPv6 day follows in the footsteps of the experiment conducted by Heise in Germany last year. They are one of the biggest news sites in the country and made their site heise.de accessible in both v4 and v6 for 24 hours on September 15th 2010 to see if 'brokeness' would indeed create problems amongst their user base. The result was so positive that they decided to turn IPv6 access on permanently late September.

All of this bodes well for 2011. Some noticeable rise in IPv6 traffic will go a long way to silence these quipping colleagues every IPv6 proponent and advocate has faced over the years.

By Yves Poppe, Director, Business Development IP Strategy at Tata Communications (Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in these articles are solely those of the author and are not in any way attributable to nor reflect any existing or planned official policy or position of his employer in respect thereto.) Visit Page
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Stats to watch Franck Martin  –  Jan 12, 2011 7:49 PM PDT

Hi Yves,

http://www.google.com/intl/en/ipv6/statistics/

This is an interesting graph of the percentage of traffic Google serves over IPv6. Dynamic tunnels like 6to4 are disappearing in profit of more direct connectivity, while overall IPv6 traffic percentage is increasing, but we are still far of the 1% of traffic (may be due to Google IPv6 registration/handling process?)

Franck Martin
http://www.avonsys.com/IPv6

but we are still far of the Johan Myreen  –  Jan 17, 2011 12:24 PM PDT

but we are still far of the 1% of traffic

It would be interesting to see what percentage of hosts would succeed in connecting to an IPv6-only server. The Google paper mentions that they tested against a dual-stack machine and they admit they can't observe Teredo clients on Windows Vista because the browser prefers the IPv4 address. This should be true for Windows 7 as well. There should be a lot more than 1 % Windows Vista/Windows 7 machines out there with Teredo running.

There's a reason that Teredo is not preferred Leo Vegoda  –  Jan 17, 2011 9:03 PM PDT

Teredo is IPv6 connectivity of last resort. There are a lot of things that have to go right for it to work and if it doesn't it is hard to locate the failure because of the use of anycast. Automatic tunnels are awkward and should not be encouraged. If tunnels are necessary then static tunnels are much more reliable.

Re: There's a reason that Teredo is not preferred Johan Myreen  –  Jan 18, 2011 6:18 AM PDT

Well, your comment only underlines my point. Assuming Teredo is not that bad, a lot of hosts could have connected to Google's test server via IPv6, but chose to use the alternative IPv4 address. Taking into account the not so small market share of post-Windows XP machines, the amount of hosts capable of IPv6 should exceed the <1 % figure mentioned in the Google research paper by a large margin.

Regarding the reliability of Teredo: my experience with it has been very positive. I use it on my laptop to get IPv6 connectivity on-the-go, and really the only times it hasn't worked were when the required UDP port was blocked. And it sure beats no connectivity at all.

CircleID over IPv6? Derek Morr  –  Jan 18, 2011 7:20 AM PDT

Any plans from the CircleID staff to IPv6-enable this site?

Re: CircleID over IPv6? Ali Farshchian  –  Jan 18, 2011 12:54 PM PDT

We have set this as a priority for 2011.

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