Archive for October, 2012

IPv6 – mainstream, yet?

Is IPv6 getting enough traction to be called mainstream, yet?  Sort of. Lots of groups are tracking world wide IPv6 adoption through various means, often looking at the percentage of web sites that are IPv6 reachable. But is this the right metric?

World IPv6 Launch Day did “prove” that IPv6 is viable and that more people are using it. But, does it matter that Romania has 8.64% adoption or that the US has 1.77%, or that France has 4.61%? How does that relate to a “real user”?  The answer of course is that it doesn’t.  I don’t (often) visit Romanian or French web sites, and the experience of Internet users in those countries is affected by the use (or lack) of IPv6 elsewhere in the world.  Facebook, Google, Twitter and others are all worldwide communities.

One way to see how (if) IPv6 adoption is affecting you is to look at which web sites that you visit every day are IPv6 capable.

I took the last 30 days of browser history from my laptop and looked at the IPv6 reachability for the sites that I actually use on a regular basis. Here are the results.

I started with the Firefox add-in “History Export 0.4” and exported my history for the past 30 days. This showed that I visited over 10,000 URLs in the recent past. This raw data was massaged by some Perl  and Emacs macros to process, sort and extract unique domain names.  Finally I used a bash script to do DNS lookups for A and AAAA records for all the unique hostnames that remained.

Here are the results:

  • 10202 URLs in 30 day history
  • 1310 unique host names (there were lots and lots and lots of Gmail URLs!)
  • 125 of the unique host names had AAAA records indicating IPv6 reachability
  • 2(!) hosts had AAAA records and no A records – IPv6 ONLY sites!  W00t!

So about 9.5% of the sites that I visited in the past 30 days are IPv6 capable.  That’s more than I had expected and more than the general Google IPv6 stats would suggest. Now, since I am doing IPv6 work I would expect to be an outlier, but am I an outlier for that reason?

Of the 125 IPv6 sites:

  • 27 are Google properties (Google, Gmail. Blogger, Google Code, Youtube, Android Market and similar)
  • 11 are IPv6 information or test sites
  • 10 are US .gov (more on this later)
  • 5 are notable open source projects (ISC Bind, ISC DHCP, Mozilla, Ubuntu, Fedora)
  • 8 are larger .EDUs like Stanford, UCLA, UCSD
  • 6 Internet governance and operations sites (IANA, IETF, Internet Society, ARIN, APNIC)
  • 6 are blogs hosted at
  • 5 of the sites are Facebook properties
  • 2 Netflix sites
  • 2 Wikipedia
  • 2 Yahoo properties
  • the rest (almost 40) are singleton sites – individually hosted blogs, news and aggregation sites (political, tech)

This means that 91% of the IPv6 sites I visit are probably typical for a “regular” Internet user. Most of the most popular properties are represented in IPv6-land: Google, Facebook, Wikipedia, NetFlix and similar.

It also shows that while individual sites are making progress (those 37 singletons), many hosted sites will get upgraded through no action of their own when their hosting provider (or cloud provider) makes the switch.  Between then, Blogger and Blogspot are now hosting thousands of personal blogs that are IPv6 capable.

Personally, I can’t wait for to make the switch.

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IPv6 – some interesting folks are making the move

I’m looking at some different ways to measure IPv6 reachability, and I’ve found some interesting sites that have already made the move.

I’ll have more details later, but I’ve been looking at the last 30 days of browsing history on my laptop.  I’m still crunching some numbers, but some interesting sites popped out.  Of course, all the Google properties, Facebook and the like have made the move, but some smaller sites are being more progressive than many of the usual suspects.

Here are some smaller and more interesting folks that have made the move. Some of these I found from RSS feeds aggregating gaming, beer and art.

NOTE: Some of these may not always come up in your browser via IPv6, especially if you have a Mac, which may suffer from “hampered eyeballs“.  Some of these appear to be in a testing phase, as they have AAAA records, but are not always reachable via IPv6 from all locations, or they may be behind broken load balancers.

Other than Tom, none of these people are involved in IPv6, but they’ve already made (or started to make) the move. I think it is encouraging that IPv6 has moved from the exclusive province of bleeding edge early adopters to the point that almost anyone can get on board with a little work.  As you can see, some of these seem to still be in transition but they’re heading in the right direction.

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IPv6 – $work lab complete!

More IPv6 posts coming soon.  Should be back to a weekly (or better) schedule starting this week.  I’ve been doing a fair amount of IPv6 stuff at work lately.

I’ve also been gleaning some interesting IPv6 issues and ideas from a few IPv6 mailing lists.

I’ll be posting on the way we built up our IPv6 test lab and some transition approaches that different parts of our company are taking to deal with IPv4 exhaustion and the adoption of IPv6.


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