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The next-generation Internet protocol IPv6 gets real

Google reports that 3 percent of Google services users are now getting the next-generation Internet protocol IPv6. Looking ahead, the Internet Society predicts that by year's end 10 percent of all major Web-site traffic will be over IPv6.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

Everyone in networking knows that we must move to IPv6 before we completely run out of IPv4 addresses .The clock is counting the seconds until we run out of old-style Internet addresses. That hasn't stopped us from being really, really slow about making the switch anyway. At long last, however, a significant number of users, and the networks that connect them to the Internet, have made the jump to IPv6.

Google Service numbers make it clear: IPv6 adoption is finally picking up.

The Internet Society, the organization that promotes the open development of the Internet, has been tracking Google services' IPv6 adoption numbers, reports that, "The pace of IPv6 deployment is rapidly accelerating! This morning [February 10, 2014] Google’s IPv6 measurements crossed the 3 percent milestone just under five months from when the 2 percent milestone was crossed. Prior to that it had taken 11 months to go from 1 percent to 2 percent."

This is happening, Phil Roberts — the Internet Society's technology program manager, believes IPv6 has finally taken off because "More operators in more countries are deploying IPv6 and increasing the size of their subscriber base that uses the technology. In particular Europe, which ran out IPv4 addresses in 2012, there have been "substantial deployments in Switzerland, Belgium, Romania, Germany, and France, for example. The IPv6 traffic from Belgium alone has almost doubled in the last month."

In Akamai's, a high-performance Web and analytics company, latest State of the Internet Report, for the third quarter of 2013, the company found that IPv4 "exhaustion has, in part, driven growth in the adoption of IPv6, though arguably not quite as fast as necessary."

Europe, the US, and Japan, according to Akamai's numbers, are leading the way in IPv6 adoption.

Curiously, Akamai, also found that while the Asia-Pacific region was the first to run out of IPv4 addresses in 2011, only Japan is in their listing of top ten countries that have switched to IPv6. The rest, with the exception of the United States, which ranks 5th in IPv6 adoption, are all from Europe.

While Akamai isn't bullish on IPv6 adoption coming fast enough, the Internet Society is far more optimistic. Even before Google's latest IPv6 results, Leslie Daigle, the Internet Society's IPv6 chief technology officer predicted:

That first prediction, 10 percent of major global traffic on IPv6 is gutsy, but Daigle believes the data supports her conclusion. If you haven't started planning on IPv6 yet, it's high-time you did.

After all, even in the United States, the current prediction is that we'll run out of IPv4 addresses in little more than a year, March 20, 2015 (http://www.potaroo.net/tools/ipv4/index.html).

The Internet address alarm clock is ticking, will you be ready when the alarm goes off?

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