Will the IPv6 BGP table overtake the IPv4 table before the decade is out? (posted 2022-06-30)
For my training courses, I always check the current size of the IPv4 and IPv6 BGP tables over at the CIDR Report so I can tell the participants what table size capacity to look for when shopping for routers.
Currently, the IPv4 table is at 925k, readying itself for scaling the 1M summit late next year. The IPv6 table is 160k prefixes.
The IPv4 table grew at about 10% per year in the 2010s and 6% last year. At this rate, it'll be at 1.43 million at the beginning of 2030.
The IPv6 table, on the other hand, had been growing at some 31% per year between 2015 and 2020, but last year it grew 37%. At that rate, the IPv6 table will reach 1.7 million prefixes by 2030! Even at a somewhat slower growth rate of 34% the IPv6 table will overtake the IPv4 table before the decade is out.
Of course it's hard to predict 7.5 years into the future, but stranger things have happened.
Also, at this rate, you'll need a router that can handle more than 2 million prefixes five years from now. Which pretty much means that if you are buying a router today that has to be able to hold the full global IPv4 and IPv6 tables, it should already be able to handle more than 2M prefixes in order to have a five year economic lifespan.