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Measuring World IPv6 Day - First Impressions

Daniel Karrenberg

The RIPE NCC took active measurements of World IPv6 Day participants before, during and after World IPv6 Day (in cooperation with CAIDA). We selected 53 participants and performed periodical A and AAAA DNS lookups and HTTP fetches from 40 servers worldwide. For HTTP, we fetched data over IPv4 and IPv6. These provide important control points: if HTTP or DNS lookup fail on both IPv4 and IPv6, the problem is less likely to be related to switching on IPv6. We also performed ping/ping6 and traceroute/traceroute6 queries to the same set of World IPv6 Day participants.

The image below shows when participants switched on IPv6 (by way of announcing DNS AAAA records). The light green section in the middle of the graph represents World IPv6 Day (midnight UTC on 8 June – midnight UTC on 9 June).

You can see most of the World IPv6 Day participants started announcing DNS AAAA records around midnight UTC on 8 June, but some started earlier, some even days earlier which we interpret as a sign of confidence that dual-stacking wouldn't cause significant problems.

Some participants retracted the AAAA records again around midnight UTC on 9 June, while others continued serving both A and AAAA records. Many participants are still dual-stacked today. Although we did see some glitches, most of the unexpected behaviour we saw was typically resolved quickly.

We also compared response-times and reliability of participating websites between IPv4 and IPv6. No significant differences were observed during the course of the day.

For more information, please refer to the background article on RIPE Labs: Measuring World IPv6 Day - First Impressions. Please also see http://v6day.ripe.net for more measurement results.

By Daniel Karrenberg, Chief Scientist at the RIPE NCC
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Related topics: IP Addressing, IPv6
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