How Real And Prevalent Is The Shift To IPv6?

Though IPv6 networks are in vogue since 1999, many people didn’t have computers, home networking equipment, or Internet service providers that could reach IPv6 sites on the Net, and Web sites had little incentive to make their sites available over IPv6.

Since IPv6 is launched on June 6, 2012, somebody with an IPv6 connection will be able to get data from an IPv6 Internet site. The fraction of Internet traffic will be small but then will grow fast. Yahoo properties that will become IPv6-enabled from June 6 include the main Web site, My Yahoo, and OMG.

Through a partnership called Atlas, Arbor Networks scrutinizes anonymous data from 253 Internet service providers, 125 of which carry IPv6 traffic today. Arbor has measured a flow of 10 gigabits per second of IP traffic flowing. That’s 0.04 percent of the total Internet traffic on Atlas, and 0.09 percent of the traffic on the IPv6-carrying ISPs.

Hurricane Electric, a networking company that’s been pushing IPv6 technology and services for more than a decade, is seeing the evidence that the shift to IPv6 is real.

And based on its Internet monitoring, Cisco predicts that there will be 8 billion IPv6-capable fixed and mobile devices in 2016, up from 1 billion in 2011 and globally, 40 percent of all fixed and mobile networked devices will be IPv6-capable in 2016, up from 10 percent in 2011.

Cisco Fellow Mark Townsley says IPv6 support is arriving at the two ends of the network connection, and that will push ISPs and other network companies to add their own support so the IPv6 connection actually can be made. He adds on the content side, there will be 50, 60, or 70 percent of content available over IPv6 available by year end.

Android and iOS devices, along with newer versions of Windows and OS X, already have IPv6 support.

Hurricane Electric has seen steadily increasing IPv6 traffic well before the official World IPv6 Launch event.
(Credit: Hurricane Electric)

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