The primary mission of World IPv6 Day this week was to raise awareness for IPv6, which is a mission that seems to have been accomplished. There is still however a very long road ahead until IPv6 is anywhere close to IPv4 in terms of adoption and usage.
IPv6 Day did serve to raise IPv6 usage in a measurable way. One company that has a unique view into how IPv6 Day impacted IPv6 use is VeriSign. VeriSign sits at the heart of the Internet, managing root DNS servers as well as .com infrastructure.
“Yesterday we saw a 16 percent increase in IPv6 traffic across all of our VeriSign properties,” Sean Leach, VP of Technology with Verisign’s Network Intelligence and Availability group told InternetNews.com. “That’s good to see, I wasn’t sure how much of an increase there would be.”
The 16 percent increase is for the average DNS query volume on IPv6 that VeriSign saw on IPv6 Day. VeriSign also measures peak DNS query volume on the root DNS and .com infrastructure which is always a higher number than the daily average.
“At peek we saw about a 50 percent increase in DNS query volume on IPv6,” Leach said.
The DNS query volume that VeriSign measured isn’t just for web servers but could also reflect IPv6 DNS queries to email or VoIP servers as well.
Putting that into perspective, VeriSign in 2011 is seeing around 57 billion DNS queries on average per day. Even with the increase on World IPv6 Day, IPv6 query volume was still below 1 percent of all traffic.
While VeriSign sits at the root of the Internet, it is possible that they didn’t see all IPv6 traffic on IPv6 Day. Leach noted that if someone enabled IPv6 on their web server and not on their DNS, VeriSign wouldn’t have a record.
“We saw some people on a DNS basis go completely over IPv4 and then finally for the web transaction moved to IPv6,” Leach said.
Leach explained that you can serve an IPv6 AAAA DNS record over an IPv4 query. At the end, if the user is IPv6 enabled they can do an IPv6 transaction to the website.
“That was the point of IPv6 day, it wasn’t just to test only IPv6 to IPv6, but also IPv4 to IPv6,” Leach said.
Security was also on the table during IPv6 day. VeriSign is also actively responsible for defending the root DNS against attack. Some had speculated that a mass IPv6 Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) would occur on IPv6 Day.
“We didn’t see any attacks on IPv6,” Leach said. “We were ready, but things were quiet on the IPv6 side.”