The World IPv6 Launch is set for this week on June 6th. On that day, website operators around the world will switch on IPv6 connectivity and keep it on. The event is a follow up to World IPv6 Day in 2011 in which over 300 websites switched on IPv6 for the day to see what would happen.
VeriSign, operator of root DNS servers and the .com and .net registries, has a unique role to play when it comes to IPv6. VeriSign sees traffic coming in as DNS queries and as record updates for domains. While many World IPv6 Day participants switched IPv6 off after the event in 2011, VeriSign has maintained IPv6 service on their site over the past year.
From a DNS perspective, IPv6 is registered as a “AAAA” record in a domain registry, in contrast IPv4 DNS is stored in an “A” record. VeriSign is now seeing more AAAA records in DNS. As measured by queries coming into VeriSign’s DNS resolution systems, IPv6 traffic is gradually increasing in root server traffic, as well. There are 13 root DNS servers that power the Internet and VeriSign manages the core A and J servers.
“We’ve seen an increase in the past year or so in the percentage of traffic to the DNS root servers carried over IPv6 from somewhere around one percent to between three and four percent,” Kaliski said. “That means of all the queries we receive on a daily basis about three times as many are carried over IPv6 than a year ago and that’s an encouraging sign.”