IPv6 deployment in 2010, how far are we?

Posted by Andree Toonk - December 20, 2010 - IPv6 - 3 Comments

We are nearing the end of 2010 and while we’re all sitting around the Christmas tree something else is nearing its end. We’re just a few months away from IPv4 exhaustion; the end of the IPv4 lifetime is insight. This will have many organizations rush to implement IPv6 in their networks.  So how far are we with IPv6 deployment? Time to take a look at the global IPv6 deployment rate.  In this article I will publish the deployment rate per country. I’m planning to zoom into some countries in the next blog posts.

Earlier reports
I’ve published similar reports earlier, one in October 2009, and one in April 2010. In 2009 we saw that the global deployment rate was around 4,4%, by April 2010 this had grown to 5%. We can see similar growth by just looking at the growth of the IPv6 routing table.

In the graph below we see the number of IPv6 prefixes in the global routing table over time. It’s clearly visible that over the last year the growth has increased quite a bit as compared to earlier years.
IPv6 routing table growth

IPv6 awareness
Over the last year the push for IPv6 has become more apparent.  I believe that within the global IT industry it has gained more awareness. Likely because of the attention from industry media and mailing lists. Every now and then IPv6 related stories even make it into the mainstream media.

In addition, a number of countries have started IPv6 working groups and some have been brave enough to set IPv6 mandates.  The US government for example set mandates quite a while ago, while India has recently set some mandatory IPv6 goals.
How successful these mandates are remains to be seen, but if anything it increases awareness and a push to implement IPv6.

IPv6 deployment ratio.
Each network in the global Internet has a unique Autonomous System (AS) number. An Autonomous System can be an Internet Service Provider (ISP), Enterprise network, content provider or any other sort of network. Each AS number announces one or more prefixes.  By using ‘Geo IP’ libraries we are able to determine a country for each prefix. This in turn allows us to determine the unique number of networks (AS numbers) per country.   Doing this for both IPv4 as well as IPv6 will result in the IPv4/IPv6 deployment ratio.

Assuming that at some point the majority of the networks will be dualstack, the eventual results should be around 80 to 90%. We’re not there quite yet.

Global IPv6 deployment December 2010

IPv6 Deployment worldwide

The global IPv6 deployment rate increased from 5% in April to 7.95 % December 2010.
If we look at the results for individual countries, we see that Greenland is the winner, with a deployment rate of a 100%. According to our statistics there’s exactly one ASn active in Greenland (Tele Greenland) and it’s announcing both an IPv4 as well as IPv6 prefix.  Second place is shared by Cuba and Fiji. Both with a deployment rate of 75%. In both cases 3 out of 4 networks (ASns) doing business in Cuba and Fiji announce both an IPv4 as well as an IPv6 prefix.

If we look further in this list we can see that the top 10 is taken by relatively small (measured in Internet availability) countries with a low diversity of ASn’s, making it relatively easy to score high.

So I decided to zoom to the countries that have at least one hundred autonomous systems announcing IPv4 address space. The table below shows the results.

IPv6 deployment - 100+ Networks

Country Code Name Percentage Ratio
CZ Czech Republic 31% 75 / 243
NL Netherlands 25% 139 / 561
NO Norway 24% 36 / 153
JP Japan 21% 118 / 568
NZ New Zealand 20% 43 / 210
SE Sweden 19% 75 / 391
DE Germany 19% 239/1259
FI Finland 18% 31 / 169
AT Austria 15% 57 / 377
CH Switzerland 15% 72 / 489
IE Ireland 15% 21 / 142
TW Taiwan, Province of China 15% 19 / 129
SI Slovenia 15% 26 / 178

Clearly visible is that European countries together with Japan, New Zealand and Taiwan are populating the top is this list.  In North America we see Canada leading the pack, with 8% pretty much equal to the global IPv6 deployment rate. The US and Mexico both score 5%. Interested in how your country scored? The complete list of results per country can be found here.

Are we on the right track?

The short answer for this is no… At this point only 8 out of a hundred autonomous systems (8%) are announcing an IPv6 prefix. Which really is only the first step in successfully deploying IPv6. It’s only going to be a number of weeks before IANA will hand out the last to /8’s to the lucky RIR(s). After that the last 5 will automatically be distributed between all 5 RIRs. At that point the global pool of IPv4 addresses will be empty. After that we’ll likely have a year or so before the RIR pool dries up and then it’s really gone.  So we still have a long way to go.

I guess there is some good news for “IPv6 consultants” as there will be lots of demand for last minute IPv6 implementations.  There are also opportunities for Transit and Hosting providers, as in this world the availability of IPv6 is not always widely available, so it’s a great way of distinguishing your product from your competitors.

Who are leading the way into the IPv6 era
So can we say something about the types of networks that are deploying IPv6? Are these mainly Transit providers, small ISP’s or stub networks. Who are leading the way into the IPv6 era?

To answer this question I’ve categorized the Autonomous Systems into the following 6 categories:

  • Stub networks are network do not provide transit to other Autonomous Systems.
  • tiny transit ISP’s are networks that provide transit to less than 5 (IPv4) Autonomous Systems (<5)
  • small transit ISP’s are networks that provide transit to less than 10 (IPv4) Autonomous Systems (>4 && <10)
  • Medium transit ISP’s are networks that provide transit to less than fifty (IPv4) Autonomous Systems (>9 && <50)
  • Large transit ISP’s are networks that provide transit to less then hundred Autonomous Systems (>49 && <100)
  • Super Large transit ISP’s are networks that provide transit to 100 or more Autonomous Systems (>99)

According to our analysis it’s primarily the larger ISP’s that are originating IPv6 networks and hence are taking the lead in IPv6 deployments. The distribution is actually quite nice, as can be seen in the table below. It seems that the larger the network, the higher the chance that they’ve deployed IPv6.

Category Percentage IPv6 deployment
Stub networks 4.3%
tiny transit ISP 6.0%
small transit ISP 14.7%
Medium transit ISP’s 28.0%
Large transit ISP’s 49.2%
Super Large transit ISP’s 62.8%

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