On June 6th of this year, IPv6 was officially launched. Now just over a month later, what’s the status? Who is using IPv6 and where is it headed?
Those are a few of the questions that a panel of experts at the IETF 84 event attempted to answer this week. George Michaelson, senior R&D scientist at APNIC (Asia Pacific Network Information Centre), has a reasonable idea of what the current levels are globally for IPv6 adoption, thanks to some statistical research he has been doing. In his view, IPv6 is now a reality in terms of adoption.
“I think you’re used to us standing up and saying ‘woe is me, woe is me, v6 isn’t happening,” Michaelson said. “But it is actually happening, these are not trivial numbers of people that are now using IPv6 on a routine basis.”
In the U.S. the latest numbers for IPv6 are impressive. APNIC’s global survey as of August 1st has IPv6 penetration in the U.S at 1.35 percent. That translates into an estimated IPv6 user base of 3.3 million users, the largest base of IPv6 users in the world.
While IPv6 usage is growing, there are still some challenges, including pockets of discontinuity around the world. Erik Nygren, Chief Architect in Akamai’s Platform Infrastructure Engineering organization said that his company has seen more ‘brokenness’ on the IPv6 Internet than on IPv4.
“There are Tier 1 ISPs out there that refuse to go and get either transit or peering with other ISPs,” Nygren said. “So there are places on the IPv6 Internet, in particular in parts of Europe, where there is no path between point A and B.”