In January 2011, Internet companies around the globe announced they would come together to perform the largest test of IPv6 deployment the world had ever seen. Cisco was among the first to proudly announce its official participation in World IPv6 Day, and after several months of preparation and an intense 24 hours in June, it was clear that we had witnessed a watershed moment in the move towards global deployment of IPv6.
So what next after this? As reports came in and logs were analyzed over the days and weeks after, it became increasingly clear that we didn’t need just another global test. Instead, we needed to enable IPv6 once and for all. So, on June 6, 2012, the industry will again unite but not just for single day. This time, we turn it on and leave it on. We’re calling this World IPv6 Launch, and it is now the largest commitment to full-scale production IPv6 deployment the world has ever seen.
For websites, the commitment is similar to last year in that reachability via IPv6 will be advertised within the global Domain Name System (DNS). This time, however, the DNS entry will remain indefinitely rather than disappear after a single day. In addition to websites, the Internet Society has setup requirements for participation by residential Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and makers of home networking equipment. The rationale for expanding to these two specific areas is that while IPv6 has been available in some models of consumer-grade networking equipment and from some ISPs for a number of years, it was very rarely enabled by default and as such very rarely in use despite the majority of internet devices being capable of IPv6.
In order to tackle these remaining barriers to deployment, new Internet subscriptions and consumer-grade home routers will begin to appear with IPv6 enabled by default as the normal course of doing business. Specifically, participating home networking equipment makers are committing to include IPv6 enabled by default through a wide range of their products (both “low end” and “high end” home routers) by June 6. For ISPs, websites will be measuring what percentage of users have IPv6 enabled, with a target of no less than 1% before the World IPv6 Launch deadline. The 1% is a “running start”, such that after June 6 we’ll be on a path of sustained growth in IPv6 deployment going forward.
Cisco is again pleased to announce its full participation and support, both by enabling IPv6 on www.cisco.com indefinitely and by enabling IPv6 by default in our new line of E-series home routers. In addition, we will be working with our customers, Cisco Services and development teams to ensure that as many companies as possible can participate and those that do are successful.
June 6, 2012. This is the year we Launch a new Internet Protocol.
C’mon…didn’t you guys just do an IPv6 show back in 2007? Yes, and although many others have covered this ad-nauseum…(and we don’t run ads…) we thought it was high time we covered it TechWiseTV style…which means we got the details.
Specifically, we did not want to focus on big numbers or sky is falling stuff – its been done. We wanted to cover the actual reality of implementation.
If scare tactics still get you going…you know we have now officially run out of IPv4 addresses so I do think this topic has a new feeling of urgency.
The time for making educated decisions on your IPv6 migration can no longer be put off. Much has been learned about how to do this right and this one is all about asking the right questions and providing the right guidance.
Questions with the potential for long-term impact like:
While looking over our data from World IPv6 Day, we found that 2.26% of all users who logged in with a username and password to www.cisco.com on June 8 did so over IPv6. That is nearly an order of magnitude greater than between the less than .2% and .3% averages reported by sites operated by more broadly visited websites such as Yahoo, Facebook, and Google. In contrast to those who logged in with their username and password, the total proportion of unique users who visited our site via IPv6 was estimated at just under 1.5%, which still represents at least a five times greater likelihood that a given cisco.com visitor reached us via IPv6 vs. the broader population of Internet users.
In terms of overall traffic, our netflow statistics reported that 1.11% of traffic to and from www.cisco.com was served over IPv6. This traffic was delivered via an IPv6 to IPv4 load-balancing proxy function within our Application Control Engine (ACE) 30, allowing us to keep our existing production www.cisco.com virtually untouched while still providing an IPv6 web presence. On June 8, we used a pre-release version of code, alongside other Early Field Trial (EFT) customers. Matthew Laslie, Network Engineer and Architect at Savvis writes:
“Savvis was looking to provide IPv6 reachability to our primary websites without performing major modifications to our backend application/security infrastructure. After evaluating several solutions, Savvis selected the Cisco ACE. In the span of two short days the ACE was fully installed, configured and providing IPv6 reachability for several Savvis corporate websites.”
In addition to the participants that officially signed up for World IPv6 Day, others moved ahead on June 8 without the formalities. Cisco EU IPv6 Deployment Council member and customer Strato let us know after World IPv6 Day that they are now announcing IPv6 AAAA records for over four million domain names. Wilhelm Boeddinghaus, Head of Networks at Strato writes:
“Our customers don’t ask us for IPv6, nor do they ask us for IPv4, they ask us for the Internet, and that’s what we give them. Today the Internet is more than IPv4. The working Internet provides both protocols.”
Those four million domain names represent the ability of the content side of the IPv6 Internet to move very rapidly to IPv6. The fact that they decided to leave IPv6 on after June 8 is testimony to the confidence they have in IPv6, and that it is the right thing for their customers. There were a number of other websites that opted to keep their AAAA IPv6 records active after the 24 hour test on June 8, including our own www.scansafe.com, which moved to IPv6 by announcing AAAA records on World IPv6 Day and continues to today.
Given the relatively high turnout of IPv6-enabled www.cisco.com users vs. the rest of the industry, we have yet another clear data point of the importance of IPv6 to our customers. With all the success around World IPv6 Day, it seems hard to fathom that this will be the only event of its kind and we are eagerly looking forward to participating in and helping our customers with the next “World IPv6″ event. Stay tuned…
IPv6 has been top of mind lately, with World IPv6 Day on June 8th that provided a global-scale test flight of IPv6 technology for the purpose of testing and data collection. Cisco also recently announced that French service provider SFR is using our Carrier Grade v6 solution to offer IPv6 services to their residential customers, while still preserving their existing infrastructure investments.
Many people still have questions on the issues and options associated with making the evolution to IPv6. Below, in part one of a four part series, Cisco’s Kelly Ahuja, SVP Service Provider Chief Architecture Office and ACG Research’s Managing Partner Dr. Ray Mota discuss the changed landscape which network operators face that is driving the adoption of IPv6 technology. Ray does make an interesting comment about 2011 being the year of the tablets - and not just for consumer use, but also for business applications. Another point that Ray makes with which we agree is the need for network operators make a near term plan which extends or preserves the use of existing IPv4 assets, and a longer term plan which can migrate services to IPv6 - seamlessly - when needed.
Happy Friday! Read more about the top news stories of the week that includes a feature on World IPv6 Day, an announcement on the Cisco ASR 9000, a demo of Cisco’s new data center and a couple news announcements about WebEx!
The Cisco ASR 9000 series just got better with age! On Tuesay, Cisco announced major advancements that will set new industry benchmarks and dramatically increase capabilities at the edge of the next-generation Internet and transform the broadband communication and entertainment industries! Read more here!