IPv6 mistakes, was: Re: Looking for an IPv6 naysayer...

Scott Helms khelms at ispalliance.net
Fri Feb 11 09:00:57 CST 2011


> I don't know about that.  Yes, v4 will be around for a long time but
> considering the oligopolies we have in both eyeball and content
> networks, ones a dozen or so very large networks switch, there is the
> vast majority of Internet traffic right there.  It will be around for a
> very long time handling a tiny bit of traffic.
>
Agreed, V4 traffic levels are likely to drop and stay at low levels for 
decades.
> Facebook alone accounts for 25% of internet traffic in the US. Netflix
> is estimated to be over 20% and YouTube at 10%.  So that's 55% of
> Internet traffic right there.  At the other end of the transaction you
> have AT&T with 15.7 million, Comcast at 15.9 million, Verizon at 9.2
> million and Time Warner at 8.9 million (early 2010 numbers).  That's 50
> million of the estimated 83 million US broadband subscribers.  So once
> three content providers and four subscriber nets switch, that is over
> 25% of US internet traffic on v6 (more than half the users and more than
> half the content they look at).
Comcast, nor the other large MSOs, are not as monolithic as they may 
appear from the outside.  In most cases the large MSOs are divided into 
regions that are more or less autonomous and that doesn't count the 
outlier properties that haven't been brought into the fold of the region 
they are in for various, usually cost related, reasons so don't expect a 
large block of any of those guys to suddenly be at 60% of their users 
can get IPv6 addresses.

While Facebook working over IPv6 will be a big deal you won't get all of 
their traffic since a significant fraction of that traffic is from 
mobile devices which are going to take much longer than PCs to get to 
using IPv6 in large numbers.  Also, Netflix is even more problematic 
since the bulk of their traffic, and the fastest growing segment as 
well, is coming from Xboxes, Tivos, other gaming consoles, and  TVs with 
enough embedded brains to talk directly.  Those devices will also 
seriously lag behind PCs in IPv6 support.

> I don't think the growth of v6 traffic is going to be gradual, I think
> it will increase in steps.   You will wake up one morning to find your
> v6 traffic doubled and some other morning it will double again.

They'll be jumps, but they will be fairly smallish jumps since both the 
content maker, the ISP, and the device consuming the content all have to 
be ready.  Since I don't imagine we will see any pure IPv6 deployments 
any time soon many/most of the IPv6 deploys will be dual stack and so we 
are still at the mercy of the AAAA record returning before the A record 
does.
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-- 
Scott Helms
Vice President of Technology
ISP Alliance, Inc. DBA ZCorum
(678) 507-5000
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http://twitter.com/kscotthelms
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