Follow Up – IPv6 Statistics at INEX

A couple of days ago, I was talking about World IPv6 day with some notes on the Irish context.

INEX is a neutral, industry-owned association, founded in 1996, that provides IP peering facilities for its members. INEX membership is open to all organisations that can benefit from peering their IP traffic and there are currently 57 members.

INEX can also be considered Ireland’s IP Peering Hub. INEX membership provides high-speed, reliable and resilient IP traffic exchange facilities for both Irish and International organisations, allowing them to route IP traffic efficiently thereby providing faster, more reliable and lower-latency internet access for their customers.

As a follow up to the previous post, here’s a like for like comparison of IPv4 and IPv6 traffic over peering LAN 1 of the exchange:


  • As a layer 2 exchange, traffic over INEX is symmetrical – traffic originating from one member is destined for another.
  • INEX runs two peering LANs for resiliency. The IPv6 traffic on LAN 2 was negligible over the same period. See the public statistics and the weathermaps of each LAN showing the network topology.


World IPv6 Day with Irish Statistics

In case it passed you by, today was World IPv6 Day. In a nutshell: “Major Internet service providers (ISPs), home networking equipment manufacturers, and web companies around the world are coming together to permanently enable IPv6 for their products and services by 6 June 2012.” This includes top content providers such as Facebook (see under their hood), Google (read what they had to say), Yahoo! and Microsoft. In fact, you may not even have noticed but Google were advertising it front and centre on their search page:

Google Announcing World IPv6 Day on Their Search Page

Over at INEX, we were unable to pull out IPv6 traffic statistics on the exchange until recently and my colleague just got the first pass of that project complete this week in time for World IPv6 Day. Here’s how it looked over the hours leading up to and into World IPv6 Day:

Now, the peek of almost 40Mbps is, most assuredly, small compared to the overall peek of 24Gbps, but there is a very pronounced jump in IPv6 traffic which is certainly a good sign and a move in the right direction. The overall peering statistics at INEX are public and we’ll be breaking out IPv4 and IPv6 into separate graphs shortly also.

Why does IPv6 amount to < 0.2% of the traffic at the exchange? Well there are two main factors:

  • Until today, there has been very little mass or popular content available over IPv6. So, even if you were IPv6 enabled, there was very little for you access.
  • None of the large ISPs in Ireland are providing IPv6 connectivity to end users outside of certain closed test programs.

This is the classic chicken and egg problem: with no content available the ISPs were not motivated to provide IPv6 connectivity; and, conversely, with no IPv6 enabled eyeballs the content providers were not motivated to make their services available over IPv6.

While today was not necessarily a content provider only day, I’m unaware of any Irish ISPs that got involved. But, now that we have significant content available over IPv6, hopefully the ISPs will begin to ramp up their own programs. And – to be fair – it’s not all bad news with the ISPs in Ireland. Most have their core and edge networks IPv6 enabled, it’s the access layer that’s the issue (and it’s a really really big issue and a very difficult issue).

AMS-IX (the Amsterdam Internet Exchange) is in the top three IXPs in the world by traffic volume and they also make their IPv6 statistics public. As a second demonstration of traffic levels on World IPv6 Day, here is the week to date showing a huge differential for today:

If you’re not sure what all this is about, well then here are a few words from the creator of the Internet himself:

And if you’re keen to start experimenting with IPv6, first email and ask your ISP. They’ll say no, but do it anyway! Then head over to SixXS (and be sure to choose either HEAnet or Digiweb as your PoP as both are INEX members and as such you’ll have the lowest possible latency).

“Go Faster” Websites – Introducing Minify

We’ve been minifying and bundling CSS and JS for years to ensure quick page loads of the applications we build. We’ve now generalised, documented and packaged the tool we use for this and released it under a BSD license so others can benefit.

Most web developers know that including lots of JS and CSS files in their sites slow page load times down. Most also know that these files should be minified and bundled into one file on production sites. Most developers don’t do this though. It’s a lot of extra steps in putting your new changes live.

Also, using CDNs or setting expiry times into the future for mostly static files such as CSS and JS also significantly improves page load as clients will grab these files once and use their local cache until their expire. This also poses issues for web developers that is easily overcome by versioning these files – literally adding a version number to the bundles – for example min.bundle-v6.css would be version 6 of the CSS minified and bundled file.

We’ve been doing both of these for a long time with the sites we build. We’ve now generalised, documented and packaged the tool we use for this and released it under a BSD license so others can benefit. See our page on GitHub to download this tool and for examples of its use:

This tool will:

  • automatically find all CSS/JS files in a given directory named xxx-blah.css where xxx is a three digit ordering / sequence number;
  • minify these files and create a single file bundle including them in the correct order;
  • automatically generate template include files allowing production / development mode (i.e. use individual CSS/JS or bundles based on an application option);
  • versioning for those using CDNs, future expiry dates, etc to ensure clients load fresh JS/CSS bundles.

If you use it, please drop us a note to let us know how you get on! 

INEX Breaks 10Gbps Barrier – Again

INEX, Ireland’s Neutral Internet Exchange Point, broke the 10Gbps barrier last week coinciding with the Government’s budget announcement. It didn’t quite break the previous record from the announcement of the four year plan.

This traffic spike would have been primarily driven by HEAnet and RTE streaming the Dáil proceedings live to Irish Internet viewers – INEX’s members would account for about 97% of all eyeballs in Ireland.

INEX makes its overall traffic statistics publically accessible.


INEX Breaks 10Gbps Barrier

INEX, Ireland’s neutral Internet Exchange Point, broke the 10Gbps barrier last week coinciding with the Government’s launch of their four year plan:

Reaching a new record high, traffic at INEX, Ireland’s Internet Exchange Point, has exceeded the 10Gigabit per second barrier for the first time.  This record, of 12.137* Gigabits per second, comes in a year when INEX is experiencing its greatest growth in traffic in the exchange’s 14 year history.  The traffic peak, which coincided with the announcement of the National Recovery Plan, is an indication of the increase in consumption of rich media content (TV, video, music, conferencing) over the Internet by users in Ireland, including the new wave of mobile internet users. INEX has also welcomed a number of new Members in recent months who have also contributed to the rapid traffic growth.

Read the full release on INEX‘s own website. We’re looking forward to seeing this record being smashed tomorrow with the announcement of the 2011 budget.

Open Solutions (my company) has been a part of INEX’s operations team since April 2008, working with the expanding number of INEX Members and ensuring the smooth running of the exchange. We assist with the administration of the switching frabic, provide member support, and develop INEX’s provisioning and management systems.