World IPv6 Launch results: What effect did the event have on the Internet?

How much traffic did IPv6-enabled public facing networks see on June 6, World IPv6 Launch? How did that compare to last year's IPv6 Day? And now that so many providers have committed to keeping their forward-facing v6 sites turned up permanently, how much have traffic rates risen?

While the commitment to always-on v6 was a big one, some experts predicted that we wouldn't see a big jump in traffic rates during this year's World IPv6 Launch. The reason for this was that many of the providers who are committing to v6 had already turned up their networks ahead of the launch and would be running the day of the event. However, Owen DeLong, IPv6 evangelist for Hurricane Electric, predicted a small spike in traffic would occur on June 6, followed by a leveling off and gradual move upward in traffic rates. He forecast that v6 traffic rates would "at least double if not quadruple again, possibly more, in the next year."

The amount of IPv6 traffic has increased substantially from last June, wrote Darren Anstee and Scott Iekel-Johnston on Arbor Networks' Security Blog. "IPv6 now peaks at around 0.1 percent … of the traffic we track from operators who are capable of generating telemetry for native IPv6 traffic--this represents a 20x growth over the past year, before World v6 Launch," they wrote June 6. "Overall though, despite this rapid growth rate, the amount of IPv6 traffic out there is still very low in comparison to IPv4. In the last week the maximum volume of IPv4 traffic tracked from all Arbor ATLAS participants was 189.81 Tbps, in comparison the maximum level of IPv6 traffic (native and tunnelled combined) was 24.07 Gbps--a big difference."

Akamai Networks told FierceTelecom that total IPv6 hits on June 6 were 3,894,971,156, "more than 460 times as many" as that recorded on June 8, 2011. Total observed IPv6 addresses were 18,999,253, an increase of 67 times over 2011's observed addresses. Of those addresses, 12 million were from the United States, 3.5 million from Europe, and 836,000 from Asia.

Who were the top ISPs taking IPv6 requests on World Launch day? Six ISPs globally took on 86 percent of requests, according to Akamai's figures: Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ)--topping the list with over 1/3 of requests and unique addresses--and AT&T (NYSE: T) in the United States; Free, an ISP located in France; RCS & RDS, a Romanian ISP; Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), in the United States; and KDDI (OTC: KDDIY) in Japan.

Below are charts from some of the ISPs, traffic measurements specialists, and other service providers who participated in last week's event. Many of these charts and more can be found at the Internet Society's World IPv6 Launch website.

Akamai Networks

Current traffic (week of June 11):

Akamai IPv6 traffic volume 2012

Arbor Networks

Pre-Launch day traffic (June 3-6, 2012):

Arbor Networks IPv6 Launch traffic 2012

World IPv6 Launch traffic (June 6):

Arbor Networks IPv6 traffic

Annual traffic rates (2011-2012):

Arbor Networks IPv6 traffic annual


Monthly traffic (May-June 2012):

AMS-IX IPv6 traffic 2012

Annual traffic (2011-2012):

AMS-IX annual IPv6 traffic


Annual traffic (2011-2012):

DE-CIX IPv6 annual traffic

5-year traffic growth:

DE-CIX IPv6 5 year traffic


5-year traffic growth, globally:

Google 5-year traffic growth rates

On a side note, the Number Resource Organization (NRO) is launching a 2012 Global IPv6 Deployment Survey. Read up about it on their site.