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").
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Recently by Erik Nygren
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.
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.
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.
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.