Internet IPv6 adoption is going no-where fast

Internet IPv6 adoption is going no-where fast

Summary: We're rapidly running out of IPv4 Internet addresses, but that doesn't mean that people are moving to IPv6.


I'm not the least bit surprised that more people and companies haven't moved to IPv6. Yes, they know that we're running out of IPv4 Internet addresses. Indeed, some may know that Asia's already run out of IPv4 addresses. But does that mean that they're switching over to the IPv6 Internet? According to Akamai's State of the Internet 2011 1st Quarter, the answer is a big fat no.

It's not like the Internet has stopped growing. Far from it. Akamai, a major content delivery network (CDN), reports, "In the first quarter of 2011, over 584 million unique IP addresses, from 237 countries/regions, connected to the Akamai network - 5.2% more IP addresses than in the fourth quarter of 2010, and 20% more than in the first quarter of 2009. Although we see more than half a billion unique IP addresses, Akamai believes that we see well over one billion Web users. This is because, in some cases, multiple individuals may be represented by a single IP address (or small number of IP addresses), because they access the Web through a firewall or proxy server. Conversely, individual users can have multiple IP addresses associated with them, due to their use of multiple connected devices."

And, let me remind you that that estimated billion is just for those who've connected through Akamai to make a Mac OS X Lion download or watch a video. We're closing quickly in on IPv4's hard limit of 4.3-billion. Indeed, according to ABI Research our smartphones and tablets alone will hit the one billion IPv4 mark in 2011.

So, we're all moving as fast as we can to IPv6 right? Of course not.

Despite the recent IPv6 World Day demonstration, which showed that our IPv6 technologies are ready to go and that they can live and work with IPv4, we're not moving quickly at all to the next generation of the Internet.

Sure, you can delay moving to IPv6 by buying IPv4 address blocks. Microsoft, for example, did that by buying Nortel's IPv4 addresses for $7.5-million, via the IPv4 broker Addrex, earlier this year.

John Curran, CEO of the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN), believes though that "At some point in the not-too-distant future, it will become more cost-effective for most users to acquire and use free IPv6 addresses than to buy legacy addresses, and the bottom will quickly fall out of the IPv4 after-market."

Well, it's not happening yet. Akamai found of "the top one million Web sites as ranked by Alexa [a Website analysis company]. ... IPv6 reachability of these sites appeared to remain fairly constant at approximately 0.25% through the first half of the quarter but jumped suddenly to the 3% range in mid-February." A closer look revealed though that "this increase in reachability was due to Google "white-listing" Comcast for IPv6 connectivity - as a result, the Comcast monitor was able to reach many hosts over IPv6" is Google Blogger's domain name for blogs. "Without these blogspot site results, "then IPv6 reachability at the end of the quarter would be approximately 0.3%,"

Akamai also reported that the Internet security firm Arbor Networks, which has also studied IPv6 adoption and associated traffic levels has found that the "aggregate IPv6 traffic volumes generally ranged between 0.1 and 0.2 percent of Internet traffic."

Put it all together, and it's clear, we are so, so not ready for the day when we run out of IPv4 addresses. If you're a home user, don't worry about this. If you're a CIO or a network manager though, it's way past time to be telling your CFO and CEO to put some more money in the 2012 IT budget for upgrading your Internet infrastructure. You're going to need it.

Related Stories:

The World IPv6 Day report card

Want to buy an Internet IPv4 address? Cheap?

It's official: Asia's just run out of IPv4 Addresses

Cisco aims to defend core switching business, updates Catalyst 6500

Five ways for IPv6 and IPv4 to peacefully co-exist

Topics: Networking, Browser, Telcos

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  • RE: Internet IPv6 adoption is going no-where fast

    Seems like we've been almost running out of IPv4 addresses for years now.
    • RE: Internet IPv6 adoption is going no-where fast


      We have been.... but the fact is that if they would RECLAIM some of those old IP addresses that are used for 'holding pages' and other things? We would have gotten back about 50% of the IPv4 addresses that are being used today.
      • class Bs...

        @Lerianis10 There are many class B and larger blocks allocated to one "ISP" or another with many entire class Cs available to be allocated within them. I'm desperately trying to get a class C allocated from our own partner company but they don't even care about the money. Its all about hoarding IPs for some future crisis. "You already have a class C from some other company, you don't need ours. If we sell you ours you have to promise to get rid of the one from the other company immediately! 'cause nobody can have two class Cs! Well, except us..." Lets see, I have hundreds of public facing servers and my current class C, is not mine and, is owned by completely incompetent morons who can't figure out how to BGP route packets. No, no, I don't need my own at all. Unless I actually want to do business.

        What was my point? Oh, right, now you have people hoarding IPs and only trading them for magic beans instead of sharing them with people who need them.

        Also, you have a lot of network engineers out there who are not comfortable enough with IPv6 to implement a conversion. I've been begging to implement IPv6 but I can find no one who knows how to implement it properly around here.
  • RE: Internet IPv6 adoption is going no-where fast

    As long as it costs less to get IPv4 addresses from the after-market than it does to upgrade infrastructure, seems like enterprises will be slow to adopt IPv6. Doesn't it boil down to economics? Here's a free webinar that's taking a closer look at the IPv4 after-market debate:
  • RE: Internet IPv6 adoption is going no-where fast

    Of course it is going no-where fast....Who is going to pay for replacing all that perfectly good, and working IP4 equipment???

    From home routers to majorly large organizations, all this IP4 equipment will only be replaced as it fails and needs replacement. That will take a long time indeed. I'm keeping all mine until it breaks, unless someone wants to pay for replacing it.....Right, I thought so......
    linux for me
    • RE: Internet IPv6 adoption is going no-where fast

      @linux for me Where it's really going to hit people first is when they add a new branch office... and they can't get an IPv4 address for it. Then, and only then, the fur will start to fly. It's not going to be pretty come that day.

      • RE: Internet IPv6 adoption is going no-where fast

        @sjvn@... Surely, when you need to open your new branch office, you'll just get an IPv6 router at your HQ and at your new office and then configure routing between the two. Nothing else needs to change in your infrastructure, right?
    • RE: Internet IPv6 adoption is going no-where fast

      @linux for me

      They can do an EASY software update to support IPv6 in most cases, so there is no reason that they would have to replace all that perfectly good equipment.
  • RE: Internet IPv6 adoption is going no-where fast

    And through the entire internet not one single sh*t was given...
  • Internet IPv6 Adoption is going no-where fast

    I updated all my rounting equipment in the last year and when i asked if these devices ( TZ 210's) were IPv6 ready they said what? They did not know and could not give me any direct answers. So for my situation it is not like i am not trying but the vendors are not responding either by selling or making there new equipment capable of IPv6 routing. Another issue is i have looked all over for good training on IPv6 and can not find any. Any suggestions?
  • Fast is relative

    Although many orgs are not actively using IPv6, the key is that the smarter ones are prepared (or working on it) for when they do need to light it up ... i.e. to not need to buy all new gear "just" for IPv6.
    • RE: Internet IPv6 adoption is going no-where fast

      @trejrco_z I agree. We only purchase IPv6 compatible devices now. By the time some ISP wants to soak us $1000/month for a single IPv4 address, all our equipment will be IPv6 ready, and we will just say "so long" to IPv4.
      • RE: Internet IPv6 adoption is going no-where fast

        @anothercanuck The gear being ready, and the people being knowledgeable, really makes IPv6 a much less daunting thing. And it is *so* much easier to implement/deploy now than, say, 6 years ago ... :)

        Disclaimer: I spend my days helping other do / learn IPv6 so I might be a bit biased ...
  • RE: Internet IPv6 adoption is going no-where fast

    I don't think it will happen fast but it will happen in the future. When companies switch offices or <a href="">upgrade to new media servers</a> they will switch over. Only time will tell though.