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).

World IPv6 Day – Do Something – Anything!

June 8th, 2011 is World IPv6 Day and on that day, Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, Akamai and Limelight Networkswill be amongst some of the major organisations that will offer their content over IPv6 for a 24-hour “test flight”.

I’m trying to push June 8th as a ‘flag day’ for smaller companies to get something – anything – done with IPv6. Enabling AAAA on their websites (and leaving it on) would be super. Some other suggestions I have:

  1. Register on and add the badge to your site. Even if it’s Pending IPv6, the whole point of the project is to nudge the level of awareness up a notch and we need badges on sites for that.
  2. If you haven’t even used IPv6 before, get a SixXS tunnel and be sure to choose either HEAnet, Airwire or Digiweb as your tunnel broker. All are members of INEX with good IPv6 connectivity so you’ll see low latency with good connectivity on these.
  3. If you want to get IPv6 on your LAN and your ISP won’t provide it, then (a) bug them some more; and (b) as a intermediate measure, also get a subnet from SixXS for your LAN.
  4. Dual stack your mail server and add a AAAA record to your MX hosts. This is a really simple and painless first step as SMTP is such a resilient protocol, if the mail cannot be delivered over v6, it’ll fall back to v4. Postfix, Sendmail and others have been IPv6 capable for years.
  5. Dual stack your DNS server. Like Postfix / Sendmail, Bind has been IPv6 capable for years. Get it listening on v6 and then add AAAA records to at least one of them.
  6. Hurricane Electric have a very useful IPv6 Certification program (see it at which certifies an individuals ability. It’s a free process and what’s great about it is that, even if not interested in the cert, working through the process gets you configuring IPv6 on your web server, email server and DNS.
  7. Always look for IPv6 when choosing an ISP, a hosting provider, equipment vendors, and SaaS. Even if not a deciding factor, ask for IPv6 support to keep nudging it up the list of priorities for service providers.
  8. Register and display a badge from Did I say that already?


We’re Now Available Over IPv6!

You probably won’t have noticed but this site is now available over IPv6:

$ host has address has IPv6 address 2a01:268:3002::35

I spend a lot of my working hours doing a lot with IPv6 and, as any sys admin knows, it’s quite often the case that you get around to doing these things for yourself last. In our case, there was a bit of work involved as we had to first get our ISP’s core network dual stacked with IPv6 – luckily they’re a customer of ours 😉

Stay tuned here and over on the company blog for upcoming IPv6 posts and announcements.

In the meantime, if your ISP isn’t offering IPv6 to end users yet, head on over to SixXS where you can get an IPv6 tunnel for free. If you’re based in Ireland be sure to chose HEAnet or Airwire as your PoP as they’re both based in Ireland and members of INEX so your latency will be as low as possible.

UPDATE: Much more on this an why over on the company blog: We’re IPv6 Ready – Finally!