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The underlying protocols of the Internet continue to evolve, and massive events such as the World Cup are a great opportunity to see this in action.  A single-match peak for live video streaming of 22.5 Tbps was set on Akamai on Tuesday July 10 during the semi-final in Russia between France and Belgium.  Akamai helps deliver World Cup coverage for a large number of broadcasters and subscription-based streaming services, meaning that we have a diverse set of customer configurations and end-user populations.  Across these customers, we're seeing an increasing use of technologies such as HTTPS (delivering streaming segments over the encrypted-and-authenticated TLS) as well as enabling content for delivery over IPv6 as well as legacy IPv4 ("dual-stacking").

As reported in an ISOC report last year, IPv6 adoption is now solidly in the "early majority phase" of the technology adoption life cycle by many metrics (well past "innovators" and "early adopters"), with progress beyond that in some areas. Akamai continues to see solid growth in IPv6, including significant traffic peaks during large events, and we continue to find cases where IPv6 outperforms IPv4.

Reaching toward universal TLS SNI

The past few years have seen a dramatic increase in client support for TLS SNI (a technology standard that makes HTTPS much more scaleable). While early 2014 saw fewer than 85% of HTTPS requests being sent by clients supporting TLS SNI, many Akamai customers today now see client TLS SNI usage exceeding 99%. This shift means that deploying SNI-only Web sites is now increasingly viable, with 31% of the Alexa top-100k hostnames with valid certificates for HTTPS only presenting those certificates when TLS SNI is sent by clients.

New Year's Eve is typically in the depth of end-of-year change freezes for most IT organizations. At the end of 2016, however, two major events will be occurring right at the end of the year: a leap second and the final end of browser support for SHA-1 TLS certificates.  Both of these changes have the potential to break software systems and applications.  Significant preparation, planning, and testing ahead-of-time can significantly reduce the risk for both.

IPv6 at Edge 2016

With the Internet transition from IPv4 to IPv6 now in full-gear, the topic of IPv6 was raised in number of forums at the Akamai Edge conference this week.

In a keynote on Wednesday morning, Ash Kulkarni mentioned how enabling delivery of sites and content over IPv6 by default is one of the ways that Ion 3 helps accelerate mobile performance, aiming to improve the user experience and resulting business metrics.

It has now been five years since World IPv6 Day and four years since World IPv6 Launch. The long-term global Internet transition to IPv6 is well underway and increasingly entering the mainstream. The American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) exhausted its free pool of IPv4 addresses in September 2015, following all of the other registries except for Africa's AFRINIC (which is on track to exhaust its IPv4 free pool in 2018). The result is that businesses and service providers needing Internet addresses for their mobile users, broadband users, business offices, servers, or cloud infrastructure now need to purchase IPv4 addresses on a transfer market, use IPv4 NAT (network address translation) with corresponding costs and complexity, or make a strategic decision to leverage IPv6.

Apple's upcoming App Store submission requirement around supporting IPv6-only environments (announced last year at WWDC and being enforced starting June 1) has been getting plenty of recent coverage. iOS application developers already need to make sure their applications work in IPv6-only environments with NAT64+DNS64; however, this by itself does not mean that those applications (or web-based applications) obtain content over native IPv6.

It is now three years since World IPv6 Launch, and solid growth in global IPv6 adoption continues at a steady pace.

With over 17% of the country's end-users actively using IPv6, the United States continues to be a dominant force in IPv6 traffic levels and adoption, with the top three U.S. broadband operators and all four of the top U.S. mobile operators actively rolling out IPv6 to their end-users. Other countries including Germany, Belgium, Japan, and Peru continue to have solid IPv6 traffic growth, and network operators in additional countries including Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Portugal, Estonia, and Greece have started large-scale IPv6 deployments to end-users.

In the past year, we've also started to see announcements of companies moving beyond just dual-stack, with IPv6-only solutions being used to solve real-world problems by companies such as Facebook, Comcast, and T-Mobile US.

The North America Internet registry (ARIN) is also almost certain to exhaust their supply of freely available IPv4 addresses sometime in the coming months (or weeks!).

Akamai has also seen continued progress in our customers dual-stacking their Web sites and applications (to be directly accessible over both IPv4 and IPv6). Akamai now servers deployed with working IPv6 connectivity in 95 countries around the globe in over 1,500 locations and connected to 590 different network providers.

Taken all together, it is well past time to start actively deploying IPv6 for your content and your end-users.
No longer is IPv6 "just around the corner". It's here. In the half-year following when I last wrote about our measurements of IPv6 adoption, many of the metrics we were tracking have doubled. This is in large part due to increased adoption of IPv6 by residential broadband networks in the U.S.A. and Germany. As of December 2013, we were serving over 20 billion IPv6 requests per day, double the 10 billion per day delivered just six months prior.
It has been a year since I last wrote about World IPv6 Launch and our measurements of IPv6 adoption at the time. Since then, we've seen continued momentum around increased IPv6 adoption on multiple fronts, with more IPv6 end users as well as with more content becoming available over IPv6. The net result of this is that IPv6 traffic on Akamai's global platform has increased to be over 250% of its June 2012 level, and we are now delivering around 10 billion requests per day over IPv6, up from around 3.4 billion requests per day at this time last year. Over the course of a given week, Akamai is now seeing between 200 million and 300 million unique IPv6 addresses contact our network.

In addition, we have observed continued momentum in IPv6 adoption by our customers, with over twice as many customers delivering IPv6-enabled properties from our platform as we had at World IPv6 Launch last June.

Akamai also continues to increase the footprint of our IPv6 network deployment as more of our network partners make IPv6 connectivity available. We now have IPv6 enabled in 64 countries and over 800 network locations around the globe.

IPV6_Image1.jpg
IPv6 Requests/Day on Akamai from June 2012 to June 2013

While IPv4 is still the dominant protocol on the Internet and will be for years to come, IPv6 adoption continues to move forward, especially in the mobile space and in some parts of the world. We explore this in more detail below.
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