04 January 2007

IPv6 Update

I have written about IPv6 from time to time (see this, for example). A couple of items have gotten my attention lately, motivating me to get back to this subject. First, despite the NIST report I discuss in the cited blog post, this article reports concerns about the consequences of "foot dragging":
Eighty-six percent of 1,000 respondents believe there will be a negative impact to the United States for dragging its feet on IPv6 adoption, according to the The IPv6 Government Action Study. Seventy percent felt the delay would hit U.S. technological leadership, 62% felt it would impact national security and 58% believe it will affect U.S. influence over Internet stability. The U.S. Office of Management and Budget has required the federal government transition from IPv4 to IPv6 by June 2008.

At the same time, Network World's Service Provider Newsletter of 03 Jan 2007 reports:
NTT Communications, the first carrier to offer a commercial IPv6 service in the United States, is reporting steady growth of IPv6 traffic across its own backbone as well as for its peering partners.

As other carriers such as AT&T and Global Crossing announce their first IPv6 peering arrangements, NTT says it is peering with more than a dozen carriers through four exchange points in the United States.

Most of the carriers that NTT exchanges IPv6 traffic with are regional Tier 2 carriers such as Hurricane Electric that support universities and colleges.

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"There are a lot of Tier 2 carries that are doing IPv6 but not too many Tier 1s," says Stan Barber, vice president of product marketing and engineering for NTT. "There are probably less than five Tier 1 carriers altogether doing IPv6…Most of the Tier 2 providers are regional broadband providers."

Barber says he’s glad that AT&T and Global Crossing are getting into the game of IPv6 traffic peering.

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"If you look at the total amount of IPv4 traffic, which is multiple terabits a day, the IPv6 traffic is dwarfed," Barber says. "There’s no infrastructure that’s in trouble of being overstretched by the amount of IPv6 traffic. But I have to say in all honesty that the trend is upwards."

Barber says most of the IPv6 traffic NTT transports go between the United States and Asia, where IPv6 is more popular. In Asia, carriers such as NTT are beginning to see audio and video data carried over IPv6.

"In Tokyo, we know for a fact that consumers on the broadband networks are using IPv6 for video and audio traffic," Barber says.

NTT has seen the number of IPv6 customers in the United States double every year since 2003. Today, the carrier is approaching 100 U.S. customers for its IPv6 service.

Will 2007 be the year of IPv6? Do you expect IPv6 adoption to exhibit a "snowball" phenomenology? Why or why not?

Update (2007-3-9): The author Daniel Minoli opines on this subject in this article (with no particularly new conclusions).

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Mark said...

It might take longer for IPv6. I think there too many that have invested/are happy/lazy with IPv4 to move. Plus, there is this that uncertainty that follows new technology.

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Anonymous said...

It might take longer as long as the perception remains that the only motivation for transition are the US government mandate and eventual drying up of IPv4 addresses. If we only had a champion for IPv6 who could address the issue as the equivalent of getting rid of the regional switch boards and everyone getting their own phone number! If we only had a champion who could emphasize the return to original Internet model where self discipline kept it clean since you were known by your IP address. If we only had a champion who would drive the IPv6 positive impact on eliminating SPAM. We might get there a lot faster.

Anonymous said...

I dont think it will be the year for IPv6. I think its still a year away or so. http://ispsurvey.com