The Internet is undergoing a fundamental architectural change as its core network layer protocol, Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4), is replaced by Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6). This change is necessary to support the continued growth of the Internet.
The need for transition
The era of freely available IPv4 addresses has come to an end as Regional Internet registries are now assigning their last few remaining IPv4 addresses. Many of the largest mobile and broadband networks in the world are actively rolling out IPv6 connectivity to their end-users, with legacy IPv4 on a path to be increasingly funnelled through resource-constrained Carrier-Grade NATs (CGNATs). Making web content, sites, and applications available dual-stacked over both IPv6 and IPv4 will become increasingly critical. With smart planning, the upgrade process does not have to be daunting or disruptive. However, Web-enabled businesses do need to be cautious when deploying IPv6 transition technologies to reach their audiences across a hybrid IPv4/IPv6 Internet while retaining performance, reliability, and security.
Akamai is committed to helping customers with a smooth transition to IPv6
With Akamai, customer sites can take advantage of high performance, highly available dual-stack IPv4+IPv6 delivery without requiring significant changes to origin networking infrastructure. IPv6 delivery support is included in many Akamai products, making enabling delivery IPv6 as simple as flipping a configuration switch (in the cases where IPv6 already isn’t enabled by default). For the typical customer, the only primary prerequisite before flipping on IPv6 is ensuring that any cases where IP addresses are treated as data (such as for logging, tracking, and reputation) properly handle IPv6 addresses.
Each quarter Akamai analyzes publicly available data collected by Geoff Huston, Chief Scientist at APNIC to provide a perspective on the size of the available IPv4 address pool at each of the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs), and how the sizes of the available pools have been shrinking over time. This analysis is published in Akamai’s State of the Internet Report. In addition to tracking IPv4 exhaustion, the report uses data provided by the individual RIRs to highlight IPv4 address space delegation activity within each region over the course of the quarter. The figures below outline the latest report’s findings, and for more details we encourage you to download the latest report.
Figure 2 illustrates how the size of available IPv4 address pools at each RIR changed during the fourth quarter of 2015 based on data made available by APNIC.
Figure 3 illustrates the IPv4 allocation/assignment activity across each of the RIRs during the fourth quarter of 2015.