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IPv6 Deployment from a Different Perspective

Often when looking at IPv6 deployment statistics, the size of the organisation or the network is not taken into account. In this article, we look at IPv6 deployment of Local Internet Registries (LIRs) per country in correlation to the size of the LIR.

When looking at IPv6 deployment at the LIR level, we can look at the following two metrics:

  • The percentage of LIRs that have IPv6 address space (currently at 47%) and;
  • What percentage of LIRs has IPv6 address space that is visible in the global routing table (currently at 29%).

What these numbers don’t take into account is the sizes of the LIRs. For billing purposes, LIRs are divided into size categories based on the IP address space they hold and a number of other factors. We used these size categories when producing statistics such as these. Taking this one step further we can use the size of the LIRs as a weight to normalise deployment metrics. We took the total IPv4 address space held by an LIR as a good indication for the LIR’s size, and took a fresh look at IPv6 deployment metrics taking LIR size into account.

We used “treemaps” to visualise this. In the images below, each country is represented by a rectangle. The size of these rectangles is based on the number of IPv4 addresses in the country. Each of these country rectangles is again divided into smaller rectangles, each of those representing one LIR. The size of the LIR’s rectangles is based on the amount of the IPv4 address space held by this LIR.

The light green rectangles represent LIRs that have an IPv6 allocation or assignment, while the black rectangles represent LIRs without IPv6 address space. Note that there are some dark green rectangles. Those represent LIRs that we know will receive IPv6 addresses from another LIR belonging to the same organisation.

In the treemap in Figure 2, light green rectangles represent LIRs that have IPv6 address space visible in the global routing table, while the black rectangles represent LIRs that have IPv6 address space that isn’t yet routed.

If we look at this numerically, we see that 47% of all LIRs hold IPv6 address space. If we weigh in the size of the LIR (as described above), this is even higher: 81%. In other words: 81% of IPv4 address space in the RIPE NCC service region is held by an LIR that also holds IPv6 address space (note: This doesn’t take into account those organisations that maintain multiple LIRs with one of them holding IPv6 space—the dark green fields in Figure 1).

If we look at the underlying numbers of Figure 2, we can see that 29% of LIRs have one or more IPv6 prefixes visible in the global routing table. When we apply the weighting this becomes 63%. In other words: 63% of IPv4 address space in the RIPE NCC service region is with an LIR that holds IPv6 address space that is also routed.

Having 81% of IPv4 address space with LIRs that also took the first step in deploying IPv6 is an encouraging sign. But it is in stark contrast with statistics showing IPv6 deployment at End User sites (0.39% according to Google, roughly 2% at www.ripe.net), or statistics showing IPv6 traffic (0.3% at AMS-IX). This shows that a large majority of IPv4 address space holders in the RIPE NCC service region have taken the first steps but the work towards full dual-stack deployment, and later an IPv6-only network, is far from finished.

Please refer to the background article on RIPE Labs: Interesting Graph – IPv6 per LIR.

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Green is for aliens John Briscoe  –  Nov 23, 2011 11:15 PM

Show me a normal graph over these green squares anytime of the day.

And I wonder how many of those LIRs (especially in eastern europe) are shell companies Suresh Ramasubramanian  –  Nov 24, 2011 1:47 AM

No shortage of LIRs being set up to acquire multiple /15s of v4 space for spammers. If the same ones are out there acquiring and stockpiling v6 space so that it comes in useful when large mailbox providers start accepting mail over v6 ... there'll be lots of fun to be had.

Is there a similar treatment of data from North America and/or Asia-Pacific? Rick  –  Nov 25, 2011 8:47 AM

I’d really like to see a similar treatment for North America and/or Asia-Pacific…

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