As far back as 2012 Nephos6 started changing the focus of the IPv6 transition conversation from adoption to quality of deployment. After being cheerleaders for IPv6 adoption for so many years we decided it was time to start tracking Web User Experience over IPv6 vs IPv4. Of course we used our platform ITsonar to assess performance based on synthetic transactions. Along the way we added our data and investigation to those of Geoff Huston and Paul Saab in measuring the IPv6 performance showing amongst other things that Facebook is indeed faster over IPv6 by 15% on average around the World.
We did start our measurements in the target rich environment of US Federal Government websites enabled for IPv6. We all remember the two, toothless OMG mandates requiring the federal agencies to enable their web facing resources for IPv6 access. NIST dutifully tracks the enablement of the sites (https://usgv6-deploymon.antd.nist.gov/cgi-bin/generate-gov) surely a reasonable measure of adoption. We picked a few of the sites listed as IPv6 ready and compared IPv4 vs IPv6 performance to find quite surprising results in terms of enablement choices and the quality of enablement. We even defined a new metric that captures in one number the quality of enablement: IPv6 effectiveness.
For example, early on we discovered that IRS’s IPv6 enablement was rather poor and it was impacting people whose broadband access was enabled for IPv6: https://www.nephos6.com/ipv6-and-taxes/ . They were not the only agency with such problems, problems often due to the CDN or hosting provider they entrusted with the IPv6 enablement. More recently, we saw how the Affordable Care Act website which was enabled for IPv6 from day one (good job), after the rocky start on both protocols showed some interesting performance behavior during the recent political debate: https://www.nephos6.com/affordable-care-act-and-ipv6-a-tale-of-two-protocols/
Nevertheless, along the way we saw, and most importantly measured the IPv6 Internet get much better. But how did the Internet Edge enablement evolve? Well, clearly there is a need for continued monitoring according to a recent study performed by a team at East Carolina University and pblished in the Journal of International Technology and Information Management: http://scholarworks.lib.csusb.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1290&context=jitim
This work covers the evolution of adoption based on several well accepted metrics. At the same time it looks at the IPv6 vs IPv4 performance (Load Time) of Alexa top 100 sites. The measurements were done using the ITsonar platform and here is a graph from the paper:
While the drive to parity continues, the need to measure the quality of IPv6 enablement and the need to ensure its consistency over time is not only important, it becomes critical as IPv6 adoption grows. With Worldwide adoption (at the time of this writing) at 21% and 32.68% in US, more and more users, consumers, customers, partners will assess your brand and its web presence over IPv6. Better make sure it all works at least as good as it does over IPv4.
Keep an eye out on the work done by the ECU team, they launched several ambitious projects that scale test our platform and … we LOVE IT!