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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 6lab.cisco.com 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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Online Meetings and Events: Tips for Making Them Better with Social Media

April 17, 2012 at 10:48 am PST

While your next online meeting may happen on WebEx, that doesn’t mean it’s the only channel you should use to make your meeting successful. Social media can be a wonderful compliment to your meeting or event.

Here are a few tips for using the most popular channels in your meeting mix.

Facebook
If the meeting is public, Facebook is great for posting pre and post event information. Before the meeting, post the invite with registration information. Post event, post a blog or screen grabs with links to the recording or a post-event whitepaper. To reach new people, consider a Facebook advertisement. It’s easy to target your reach and control your spend.

Twitter
Twitter is a great channel for driving pre and post event traffic to your site: ahead of time for registration and afterward for the recording. But Twitter is also an excellent way to engage folks during your meeting. By creating a “back-channel” conversation, you can get feedback and ideas from participants who may be too shy to speak up during the meeting. You can also grab great sound bites during the meeting and tweet them so others will be drawn to your content. Use hashtags to extend your reach.

LinkedIn
Publicize your events on LinkedIn to attract a business following. Make sure your company page is up to date and turn on the status updates feature that works very much like Facebook. You can also create a LinkedIn group to create a special interest Read More »

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It’s Time to Have a Serious Conversation About Internet Privacy Laws

March 14, 2012 at 4:15 am PST

On Saturday, March 10, Jasmin Melvin published the story “Web Giants Face Battle Over ‘Do Not Track’, Other Consumer Privacy Legislation.” The U.S. government, and governments around the world, have their eyes set on Google, Apple, and Facebook and their current and future policies in regards to internet privacy laws. SOPA, or the Stop Online Piracy Act, was the legislature’s first major attempt at regulating the Internet, and web giants like Google and Wikipedia responded with a day of blackouts, generating “3.9 million tweets, 2,000 people a second trying to call their elected representatives, and more than 5,000 people a minute signing petitions opposing the legislation.” SOPA may have failed, but you can be sure it won’t be the last attempt at regulation. This week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), plans to issue new recommendations for Internet privacy and data management policy.

You might think, “What’s the big deal, sure I want my privacy protected from Google, Facebook and the like, this is the United States of America.” Well, it’s not quite that simple. I agree, Google and Facebook can’t afford to get this one wrong: they would risk losing massive numbers of users who opt out, or choose new options that don’t track data or new features such as a “do not track” button. But decisions like this have massive consequences that go beyond personal privacy and data management. Read More »

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Get Verified on Google+ to Avoid Getting ‘Brandjacked’

November 17, 2011 at 1:58 pm PST

Bank of America was recently “brandjacked” on Google+. Avoid this fate for your newest Brand page by getting your Google Plus page officially verified. Much like Twitter’s verification, it gives your fans the comfort of knowing that they are engaging with you and not some imposter(s).  Also, unlike Twitter, more than one Brand Page can be created with the same name, so the need to differentiate the real accounts from the fake ones is even greater.

Read More »

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Social Media Spotlight: The Importance of SEO

September 20, 2011 at 4:26 pm PST

Whether your customers are searching on the web for someone to provide a UCS solution, a FlexPod, or cloud services, how do they find you? If they perform a Google search, do you think they will visit your site, if it shows up on the 10th page of search results?

Chances are that won’t happen--your potential customers will likely click the first or second link they find. So here’s the big question: How do you assure that your site appears in the first page of results?

Why, with magic and fairy dust, of course! Okay, okay…actually, using search engine optimization, or SEO (and some magic, too.)

What is SEO?

SEO is defined as the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines. The higher and more often your site appears in search results, the more traffic your site will get.

To better explain the concept, the site Searchengineland has a great video that offers an easy way to understand SEO and complex search algorithyms. (They also feature the periodic table of search engine elements on their site.)

There are literally thousands of books bursting with SEO tips, websites and blogs dedicated to only that topic, and a veritable plethora of experts. Keep reading for four actionable SEO tips you can take advantage of today, as well as a list of resources that  you can use. Read More »

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