New from Verisign Labs: Measuring IPv6 Adoption

IPv4 is the common thread that has held the internet together since its very early years, and, thus, it is both the most
important and most widely deployed networking protocol in existence. As the world rapidly runs out of available IPv4 address space, there has been a major movement to transition the internet to the IPv6 protocol with its vastly larger address space.

The global internet community has shown a huge level of collaborative effort in driving this transition. Events like World IPv6 Day and World IPv6 Launch Day brought together organizations working across all levels of network connectivity to raise awareness of the ever-increasing need for this change. Held on Feb. 11, 2011, World IPv6 Day marked the beginning of the changeover process. Since then, IPv6 adoption has been a closely watched and increasingly important metric.

In his latest paper, Measuring IPv6 Adoption, Verisign Labs’ principal scientist Eric Osterweil collaborates with Jacob Czyz of the University of Michigan, Mark Allman of the International Computer Science Institute, Jing Zhang and Michael Bailey from the University of Michigan, and Scott Iekel-Johnson of Arbor Networks, to provide compelling research on the IPv6 adoption rates. The team explores 12 metrics using 10 global-scale datasets to create the longest and broadest measurement of IPv6 adoption to date. Using this perspective, they find that adoption, relative to IPv4, varies by two orders of magnitude depending on the measure examined and that care must be taken when evaluating adoption metrics in isolation. Further, it is found that regional adoption is not uniform. Finally, and perhaps most surprisingly, they find that over the last three years, the nature of IPv6 utilization in terms of traffic, content, reliance on transition technology, and performance has shifted dramatically from prior findings, indicating a maturing of the protocol into production mode.

The team believes IPv6’s recent growth and this changing utilization signals a true quantum leap.

To read the full paper, please click here.

To read more blog posts from our experts discussing the transition to IPv6, please click here.


Burt Kaliski

Dr. Burt Kaliski Jr., Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, leads Verisign’s long-term research program. Through the program’s innovation initiatives, the CTO organization, in collaboration with business and technology leaders across the company, explores emerging technologies, assesses their impact on the company’s business, prototypes and evaluates new concepts, and recommends new strategies and solutions. Burt is also responsible for... Read More →