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Gradual increase in IPv6 traffic seen in June

Gradual increase in IPv6 traffic seen in June

World IPv6 Day saw greater traffic from "regular" Internet users, Arbor says.

IPv6 traffic didn’t spike on World IPv6 Day, but did see a gradual and significant increase starting two weeks before the actual day, 6 June, according to Arbor Networks. Internet Protocol version 6 traffic grew from 0.06 per cent to 0.15 per cent in that period, it said.

“This is an impressive amount of growth over such a short time,” Arbor said. “We believe this more than anything else demonstrates the success of World IPv6 Launch as a tool to encourage more providers to adopt IPv6 and make IPv6 services available more broadly.”

The increased levels of IPv6 traffic has been steady since the event, Arbor added. “This shows that hopefully many of the newly enabled IPv6 services are here to stay – another important milestone on the road to ubiquitous IPv6 adoption.”

Unsurprisingly, HTTP has dominated application usage on IPv6, representing about 60 percent, Arbor said. That HTTP’s share of native IPv6 traffic grew in advance of the event may show “increased usage of native IPv6 by ‘regular’ Internet users,” it said.

DNS comprised less of the IPv6 traffic compared to usual, Arbor said. Leading up to World IPv6 Day, DNS dropped from three per cent to less than one per cent of IPv6 traffic, it said. “This indicates that with World IPv6 Launch more users are consuming larger amounts of content over IPv6, leaving DNS as a much smaller proportion of the traffic volume.”

SSL usage also grew, possibly showing increased use of banking or e-commerce over IPv6, Arbor said. “Unexpectedly, SSL traffic dropped again after World IPv6 Launch, perhaps indicating that some of those services did not maintain IPv6 access,” it said. However, levels are still higher now compared to before 6 June, it said.

POP email traffic still represents less than one per cent of traffic, but grew from 0.01 per cent of IPv6 traffic before World IPv6 Day, Arbor said. “While not large compared to other applications, this is an important benchmark for IPv6 adoption since it indicates a core Internet service making the migration to IPv6 and IPv6 starting to look more like IPv4 in terms of usage,” Arbor said.

“It’s one thing for websites to enable IPv6 for HTTP, but it means a lot more if the basic applications that make up the ‘plumbing’ of the Internet also make the leap.”

IPv6 provides about 340 undecillion IP addresses, compared to four billion addresses under IPv4.

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