After a successful day of testing out IPv6, most organizations have gone back to IPv4, business as usual.
World IPv6 Day is over, and the Internet didn't collapse,
the sky didn't fall, and hackers didn't cause chaos. Most users probably didn't
notice a thing and that's exactly the outcome
network administrators and
security professionals wanted.
For 24 hours, more
than 400 organizations
, including Internet service providers, businesses,
educational institutions and government agencies, enabled the next generation
IPv6 standard on their main Websites. Organized by the Internet Society, the
goal for the June 8 experiment was to educate businesses about IPv6 and the
need to migrate over to the new protocol.
Participants also got the opportunity to gather data on a
global scale, as well. Several of the companies have said they will be reaching
out to other organizations to analyze collected data and share insights.
But World IPv6 Day was an exercise for organizations that
had already implemented the network hardware and software to make the switch to
the new Web protocol. The test did not
reveal how many enterprises including small and midsize companies that are
nowhere near ready
to make the transition.
"The first global
test of IPv6 passed
without incident," wrote Google's Lorenzo Colitti
on the official Google blog. Google saw about 65 percent more IPv6 traffic than
usual and saw no significant issues, according to Colitti.
Networking company Neustar has been tracking DNS queries
from businesses utilizing IPv6 and noticed an 81 percent increase in IPv6 usage
from May 2 to June 8, going from 43.47 million queries to 78.7 million. The
most significant jump happened between May 18 and May 27, when traffic spiked
up 33 percent, and a smaller 10 percent jump between June 2 and June 7,
according to Neustar's numbers.
Interestingly, there were about 300,000 fewer queries on
June 8 than on June 7. The slight dip is most likely due to the fact that
businesses were focused on getting the infrastructure up and running in the
days leading up to the actual World IPv6 Day, Tom McGarry, vice president of
the Advanced Technology Group at Neustar, told eWEEK. Most of the observed DNS
queries on June 8 were most likely just people going around and checking nothing
was broken, McGarry said.
"We saw over 1 million users reach us over IPv6,"
senior network engineer Donn Lee posted on the Facebook
. Lee noted there wasn't a corresponding increase in the number of
users needing assistance.
monitored the IPv6 networking traffic throughout the day and noticed a modest
uptick in native IPv6 data. The bulk of the current IPv6 traffic happens to be
6in4 traffic, as users rely on tunnel services from providers such as Hurricane
Electric to get IPv6 connectivity. That remained the case on World IPv6 Day,
but native IPv6 traffic jumped from a little over 10 percent of all IPv6
activity to a peak of about 37 percent on June 8. The biggest spike in activity
occurred about 4 hours into the test, around 8pm EDT on June 7. In general,
native IPv6 data ranged between 15 to 20 percent throughout the day with
occasional spikes reaching 25 percent, according to Arbor Networks data.
Spikes usually corresponded to the peak evening hours of
each timezone, according to Don Bowman, co-founder and CTO of networking
For most observers, the bigger question was how many
companies will continue supporting IPv6 Day once World IPv6 Day is over. A
number of users on Twitter expressed optimism that companies who'd turned on
IPv6 would decide to leave it on. The American Registry for Internet Numbers
(ARIN), the regional Internet registry for North America, responded with a
simple "We agree," on Twitter.
Facebook will continue to dual-stack its developer pages to
handle both IPv4 and IPv6 traffic, even though the main page has gone back to
IPv4, according to Lee. Other companies have also turned off IPv6 on their main
sites, although many of them continue to support IPv6 versions of various