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A Look at Nine Years of RIPE Database Objects: IPv6 Objects on the Rise

The RIPE Database is about to enter its fourth decade. It began humbly as a place to store network and contact information back when the RIPE community formed in 1989. When the RIPE Network Coordination Centre (NCC) was created three years later and started to assign and allocated IP address space, the database was expanded to include the registration of more detailed network and routing information.

The RIPE Database quickly became one of the cornerstones of the RIPE NCC and can provide us with a good indication of operational practices and trends.

Today the RIPE Database contains 22 different object types and 5.44 million entries in total.

We were interested to see how the various object types have been growing over time, especially in the last nine years. In Figure 1, the number of inet6num objects over time can be seen. These objects are used to register IPv6 addresses.

Figure 1: The number of inet6num objects in the RIPE Database since 2001

One can see that the number of inet6num objects is increasing steadily in the last few years. The small drops (for instance in 2005) are caused by clean-up activities in the RIPE Database.

Figure 2 shows the number of route6 objects (green) and those domain objects (orange) that refer to IPv6 addresses (reverse domain delegations made based on IPv6 addresses). Both plots show exponential growth. These numbers are a clear indication that IPv6 implementation is really taking off!

Figure 2: The number of route6 and IPv6 related domain objects in the RIPE Database since 2001

Please note that the drop in June 2006 was due to the removal of 180 domain objects after it was decided not to use .ip6.int for reverse IPv6 delegations anymore and to use ip6.arpa instead.

The peak in July 2010 has been caused by one ISP creating ~250 reverse domain objects.

For more information and other object types, please refer to the accompanying article on RIPE Labs: Nine Years of RIPE Database Objects

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