Date: June 1, 2010
By Carolyn Duffy Marsan
Momentum surrounding IPv6 is picking up, and IETF participants should be ready for it to snowball soon, according to an Internet Society panel held in Anaheim, California, during the IETF meeting.
ISOC’s IPv6 panellists Geoff Huston (left) and Jason Livingood
Audience members at a panel organized by the Internet Society on IPv6
IPv6 panel audience members
IPv6 panellist Jason Livingood
Dave Temkin speaking at IPv6 panel at IETF 77
Leslie Daigle, chief Internet technology officer at ISOC, said she saw an increase in IPv6-related activity during 2009. She pointed out that Japan published its IPv6 action plan last year, while the U.S. government required IPv6 in its acquisition regulations. Australia moved up-to 2012-the deadline for having its whole government transitioned to IPv6.
Leslie also said that such Internet service providers (ISPs) as Hurricane Electric, Verizon, and Comcast were stepping up their efforts to deploy IPv6. “This is anecdotal evidence, but it’s also a very different picture than we saw a year ago in terms of ISPs stepping up and announcing plans that they are deploying IPv6,” Leslie added. “There are also some demonstrating real, live, successful networks.”
Leslie pointed out that Google, Netflix, and YouTube were among the content providers making services available on IPv6. “When it starts to snowball, you should expect that those customers will be looking at your services and wanting to access them over IPv6,” she said. “Increasingly, there are customers out there.”
She noted that China Mobile added 88 million new subscribers in 2008 and was expecting similar growth in 2009. “Pv6 addresses are the only option for networks of this scale,” she said.
Leslie urged content providers, service providers, and application developers to prepare to reach customers through IPv6. “There’s certainly motion on IPv6,” she said. “There’s some sense that if not now, at some point in the foreseeable future this is going to be in a snowball effect.”
Geoff Huston, chief scientist at APNIC and a longtime IETF participant, said he’s been trying to measure IPv6 deployment. He researched three sets of data: Border Gateway Protocol table entries, DNS queries, and dual stack Web server access. He said the number of routing table entries for IPv6 has grown from 1,000 to 3,000 from 2008 to 2010. “This is good news,” he said. “In terms of routing, IPv6 is growing faster than we thought.” But, he pointed out, IPv6 still represents less than 1 percent of IPv4 routing table entries, which top 300,000.
Geoff said it was hard to quantify IPv6 activity by looking at DNS data, but by studying Web server ratios, he estimated that IPv6 represents 1 percent of Internet traffic today. “Use of IPv6 has increased over the past four years to hit 1 percent of traffic,” he said, adding that “the number of folks doing 6to4 tunneling as a percent of IPv6 traffic is decreasing rapidly, while the number of folks doing Teredo is really low.”
Geoff said the measurements of IPv6 deployment are problematic because of the rate at which IPv4 addresses are being consumed. “If you really wish as an industry to avoid some of the more dramatic problems that might come up, we have to do some work on IPv6,” he said.
Jason Livingood, executive director of Internet Systems Engineering at Comcast, said customer response to the ISP’s announcement of IPv6 trials this year has been very strong. Comcast is testing three IPv6 transition mechanisms developed by the IETF: 6RD, dual stack lite, and native dual stack over cable and fiber. “The response has been great,” Jason said. “We’ve been very, very pleasantly surprised. We had 5,500 volunteers sign up in a 9- or 10-day period.”
Panelist David Temkin, network engineering manager at Netflix, said he was surprised at how easy it has been to deploy IPv6. “We rely on a CDN [content delivery network] for the bulk of our movie streaming. We host our own website and most of the content that goes behind that. Both the internal integration of our website and our corporate network and the external integration with Limelight for an IPv6 CDN was very straightforward,” David said.
Magnus Westerlund, a researcher at Ericsson Research, said he is seeing cellular operators in Europe waking up to the reality that IPv6 is imminent, although few are deploying it. “Everybody is waiting,” he said. “It could happen anytime soon.”
This article was posted on 26 June 2010 .
Full Caption Text:
Image 1: ISOC’s IPv6 panellists Geoff Huston (left) and Jason Livingood Photo/Internet Society; Image 2: Audience members at a panel organized by the Internet Society on IPv6 Photo/Internet Society; Image 3: IPv6 panel audience members; Image 4: IPv6 panellist Jason Livingood; Image 5: Dave Temkin speaking at IPv6 panel at IETF 77