My book: 'Running IPv6' by Iljitsch van Beijnum BGPexpert My book: 'BGP' by Iljitsch van Beijnum

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IPv6 deployment (posted 2005-04-17)

When I talk about IPv6 I like to bring up two pictures of a web site, one seen over IPv4 and the other over IPv6. Obviously, the two pictures are identical. Because of this invisibility, it's hard to know what kind of deployment progress there is with IPv6. A few years ago I decided to visit all the web sites of all AMS-IX members and see which ones I could reach over IPv6. The results weren't all that impressive back then, but things have started to change over the past year. In april 2004 the web sites of four members were reachable over IPv6 (with one other having an unreachable address) and in march 2005 this was nine out of 213.

For many organizations making their web site available over IPv6 is a serious commitment, so the number of AMS-IX members that run IPv6 is even higher. According to the AMS-IX member list in march 2005, for 213 members with 343 ports there were 59 IPv6 addresses present on the exchange.

However, the AMS-IX membership isn't exactly representative of the net as a whole. I also had a look at a self-proclaimed list of the top 100 English language web sites but out of those not a single one was reachable over IPv6.

One (http://www.alibaba.com/) suffered from the "doubleclick syndrome" and didn't reply to AAAA DNS queries, which introduces a 10 second delay when visiting this site with an IPv6-enabled WWW browser. This is the reason why many people are disabling IPv6 in Firefox.

My conclusion: IPv6 deployment is happening, but it has a very long way to go.