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Worldwide IPv6 Usage Reaches Key Threshold

This past weekend, Google’s IPv6 Statistics reported that on November 17, 2012, user activity on their websites via native IPv6 reached 1% for the very first time. This may not sound like much at first glance, but for a system like the Internet which is slated to have 19 billion active fixed and mobile network connections by 2016, even one percent of this whole marks an impressive achievement. The billions of applications, devices, routers, and switches that make up the Internet are all interconnected such that if any one doesn’t support IPv6 on a given path between the end user and the content the user is trying to reach, the system automatically falls back to IPv4. This is necessary to keep the Internet running while the upgrade occurs, but it also means that the benefits of end-to-end traffic flow over IPv6 occurs only after all the various links in the chain are all capable of supporting IPv6.

To get a better idea of how each individual piece of the deployment puzzle is advancing, Cisco has been tracking various leading indicators and regional deployment statistics. We’ve pulled these together in an interactive tool at where  you can view IPv6 deployment data from a variety of perspectives. With the tool you can “mouse over” different regions of the world to see how various countries are doing in different areas. For example, by moving your mouse cursor over the United States, you can see that 57% of the networks that appear as transit for IPv4 today also support IPv6, end users as measured by Google is higher than the global average at 1.93%, and that 45% of the time the average user in the US visits an IPv6 reachable website.  You can also dig down into the methodology we are using to create the various rankings and percentages.

Moving the needle

Back in 2007 when Google began publishing its IPv6 measurements, native IPv6 deployment stood at 0.04%. Working together, the industry moved the needle 2500% over the past five years (while adding an additional billion users to the Internet during the same period). To help make this happen, two historic industry events have occurred: The World IPv6 Day in 2011 and the World IPv6 Launch in 2012. During the planning stages for the World IPv6 Launch, I had the privilege to work alongside other industry leaders and the Internet Society until agreement was reached to target three categories of participants that committed to enable production-level IPv6 by default: website operators, network operators, and home router vendors. Cisco signed on and participated as both a website operator and home router vendor.

Making a commitment is one thing, allowing a public measurement for all to see is another. For a website it is rather simple to measure IPv6 deployment as either a “AAAA” record for IPv6 exists in the public DNS system and the website can be reached from the Internet over IPv6 or not. For the network operator category we were looking for a lasting commitment together with some measurable factor that would provide reasonable proof that the network had moved beyond trials and on to production-level deployment. After much discussion, we came up with these two basic commitments for this category:

  1. IPv6 be a “normal part of business operations” for users, targeting ISPs to commit to enable IPv6 for users by default rather than on “special request”
  2. One percent of all user activity as measured by Google, Facebook, Yahoo! and Bing over IPv6 by June 6, 2012, the inaugural day of the Launch.

In practice, reaching one percent of user activity means deployment to a considerably larger subscriber base than one percent after accounting for legacy home networking gear, operating systems, and applications. For an ISP to reach this level as measured by the content providers, the “general population” of subscribers would have to brought into the deployment – a strong indication of production-level operation and reasonable proof that the deployment was more than a trial of friendly users or beta testers.

Looking Ahead

The aim of the World IPv6 Launch was to spark a sustained growth of IPv6 usage leading up to and continuing after June 6, 2012. The continued growth since June 6 and the milestone reached this weekend is an indicator that this commitment had its intended affect thus far. The Internet Society is continuing to report measurements for World IPv6 Launch participants, and has been soliciting new members. There are quite a few Network Operators on the list now, including not only ISPs but universities and other types of networks as well. As long as a network  has its own Autonomous System number, it can be measured and potentially added to the participant list. Cisco now has its own AS (#109) on the list, making it the first in the world that is participating in all three categories of the World IPv6 Launch.

User activity as measured by Google hit 0.25% for the first time in March 2011. A year later, on March 10, 2012, it doubled to 0.5% for the first time. It’s taken about 8 months to double that again to reach 1.0% today. If this trend continues, it will double again by mid next year and could break past 10% by the end of 2014. The trend is increasingly clear: If you are a network operator, network-enabled application developer, or anyone else that works with IP and are not running IPv6 now or don’t have a plan in place to make it happen soon, now is the time to get started.







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Cisco Announces Intent to Acquire Meraki

Cisco is dedicated to innovation as the path to growth as well as the key to sustaining our market leadership position. Our build, buy, partner strategy has always been driven by customer need and on capturing market transitions.

Today, we are excited to announce an important acquisition that addresses the rapidly occurring shift to cloud networking as a key part of Cisco’s overall strategy. San Francisco-based Meraki, a leader in cloud networking, offers customers on-premise networking solutions that are centrally managed from the cloud.

When compared to other opportunities, Meraki built a unique cloud-based business from the ground up that addresses the broader networking shift towards cloud, not just within wireless. Meraki created a massively scalable architecture that offers easy to deploy, secure, and manage networks. They didn’t obsess about the number of features, but instead focused on those that could be simplified or removed entirely.  Customers liked what they saw, and today they are supporting 20,000 customers and hundreds of thousands of network devices on their cloud platform. This has resulted in a business that is growing exponentially with great margins.

Talent is one of the most important components of every Cisco acquisition. Meraki’s co-founders, Sanjit, John and Hans, are true visionaries and leaders. The founders began with the technology, and then experimented with different markets – pivoting from a research project at MIT to a municipal Wi-Fi company to a leading cloud networking company focused on the midmarket. Along the way, they recruited experts and created a culture in San Francisco that attracted great talent. They have focused this team around a business model that combines a rapid development methodology tightly linked to a go to market engine.

During the course of our interactions, we quickly realized that Cisco and Meraki’s shared a vision of accelerating the adoption of cloud within networking as a means to simplify operations and enable new network applications. Sequoia Capital, an early investor in Cisco, also recognized the strength of the people at Meraki, and it’s great to see the technology ecosystem come full circle.

The Meraki acquisition is another example of Cisco’s focus on accelerating our adoption of software based business models. In fact, Cisco’s last seven acquisitions (Cloupia, vCider, ThinkSmart, Virtuata, Truviso, ClearAccess and NDS) have all been software companies. Cisco’s strategy is to take Meraki’s cloud platform and business model and scale this within Cisco as our new Cloud Networking Group, led by Sanjit, John, and Hans.

I am delighted to welcome the Meraki team to the Cisco family, and look forward to a prosperous and industry-transforming future together.

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Cisco, Net App and VMware team up to transform ME Bank’s and the Sydney Opera House’s data centres

Last week, as part of vForum Australia, Cisco in collaboration with partners NetApp and VMware were pleased to host a media roundtable with Sydney Opera House and ME Bank in attendance to share their journeys as they roll out a Cisco, NetApp and VMware data centre platform.

The roll out of FlexPod is the latest initiative for ME Bank on a quest to improve efficiencies, increase customer numbers and provide better value to its customers over the next three years. Importantly, the data centre platform will allow ME Bank to quickly test new service applications in development environments in a matter of minutes. Previously, it would take weeks to create test and development environments. With the rise of social media, and smart banking applications this upgrade could not be more timely.

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Highlights from Australia’s National Telework Congress

Earlier this week on the first day of Australia’s first National Telework Week, the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard opened the week with a live Cisco TelePresence cross between Parliament House in Canberra and an audience attending National Telework Congress at Melbourne University. Focusing on Australia’s place in an Asian Century and the digital economy the Prime Minister highlighted the economic benefits telework will deliver. Research from Deloitte Access Economics, launched during her keynote, has found that by 2021 telework could contribute $3.2 billion dollars to Australia’s GDP. The Australian Public Service will be setting the standard, as Gillard also announced a goal to move to 12% of the public sector to regular teleworking by 2020 (see video here). Also watch the video to listen to the Prime Minister share how she uses Cisco TelePresence to in Government to the audience at the Telework Congress (see video here).

Also speaking via Cisco TelePresence was US Ambassador to Australia Jeffrey Bleich, on his teleworking experience and the important role that telework plays in America and the Australia-America relationship. 16 million Americans telework at least once a month, this saves about 1.5billion litres of petrol a year. Bleich also talks about how telework helps provide personal support in certain circumstances, such as Hurricane Sandy during which 33% of Washington federal employees teleworked (see video here).

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Cisco Australia Employees Save 18 days per Year Teleworking: 87% say teleworking gives them a better quality of life

In the lead up to National Telework Week, Cisco Australia conducted an employee survey to better understand the role of teleworking in the working lives of its employees.

While teleworking is widely recognised as delivering a range of positive benefits to organisations, employees and wider society, at its most basic level the most significant return on investment is to individuals.

When asked to identify the positive benefits of teleworking, the most popular response by Cisco employees, at 87%, was better quality of life. This was closely followed by a reduced commute (82%) and a more flexible work schedule (81%).

Tim Fawcett, general manager of Cisco Government Affairs and Policy said, “I think its hugely significant that with the right strategy and some dedicated planning and resources, employers can offer their staff an effective teleworking program that improves their quality of life. While teleworking can improve productivity, reduce carbon emissions, traffic congestion and enable staff to spend more time on the job rather than commuting, it’s easy to forget that at its simplest level, teleworking can make employees’ lives better.  Read More »