Thoughts on IPv6 in the DNS root

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A few weeks ago, RIPE NCC, the "European" RIR, added a few more IPv6-enabled K root servers. As you may recall, back in February, IANA enabled IPv6 glue in the DNS root. With RIPE NCC's recent additions, there are now at least 33 IPv6-enabled root servers (out of 150 total servers). I say at least because I don't have any information on which J root servers have IPv6.

Here's a handy Google Map widget showing their locations:

View Larger Map

I was surprised to see so many servers in North America, since that region tends to lag behind Europe and Asia for IPv6 deployment. In fact, the Asia/Pacific region has the fewest number of IPv6 servers of any RIR:

AfriNIC0 %
ARIN42 %

While it's good to see more IPv6-enabled servers, the more important issue is increasing IPv6 traffic to the root. Just after the IPv6 glue was added to the root, the K root saw an almost five-fold increase in IPv6 traffic. However, this still only works out to 1.2% of its queries over IPv6:

IPv6 traffic at the K root just after adoption

The H root has similar results. While the number of IPv6 queries has steadily increased since February, 2008, it still receives less than 1% of its queries over IPv6:

Yearly IPv6 traffic at the H root

The M root saw the same thing: Only 1% of their queries are over IPv6:

IPv6 traffic at the M root

At RIPE-56, Geoff Huston gave a presentation comparing IPv4 -vs- IPv6 queries in APNIC's root servers. He found that IPv6 queries peaked at 1% of the total number of queries. Likewise, at the 2008 Global IPv6 Summit in Korea, it was revealed that Japan's authoritative servers get at best 1.4% of their queries over IPv6. And Japan was one of the first countries to add AAAA glue.

Comparatively speaking, there are only a handful of DNS servers on the Internet. It's fairly easy to get them IPv6-enabled. It will be a much harder task to IPv6-enable the billion+ PCs on the Internet (which is expected to double by 2014). And that number doesn't include non-PC devices, which make up an increasingly large number of network-attached devices. It's time to get to work, folks.

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» I root server doing IPv6 from Living with IPv6

Last week, the I root DNS server turned on IPv6. Currently, it's only enabled at the Stockholm node. Here's a Google Map showing locations of IPv6-enable DNS root servers. Global nodes are in red; local nodes in blue: View Larger... Read More

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