This project seeks to measure the adoption of IPv6 and characterize factors affecting IPv6 deployment.
Funding source: NSF CNS-1528148. Period of performance: October 1, 2015 - September 30, 2018.
Broad industry awareness of IPv4 address scarcity has driven universal support for IPv6 in most modern operating systems and network equipment, but even with years of encouragement from regional address registries (RIRs), and government mandates, the actual uptake of IPv6 has been disappointing. A vast ecosystem of software applications and devices still do not support IPv6, and many technologies designed to support the transition add complexity and reduce performance and reliability. Further complicating the situation, the RIR communities have approved policies that could have the unintended consequence of halting the adoption of IPv6 altogether.
As of today, some companies have avoided IPv6 deployment; while others have undertaken valiant efforts to be early adopters of IPv6, risking loss of their investment should the transition ultimately fail. A blinding lack of consensus on whether IPv6 will ever be widely adopted by ISPs, or what might trigger widespread adoption leads to a tremendous uncertainty and risk in planning for the future of the broader Internet ecosystem. In this project, we propose to collect valuable data on IPv6 adoption targeting new measurements to fill gaps in existing data. Specifically, we will extensively measure two phenomena in the current IP addressing ecosystem that may cause and/or reflect IPv6 deployment decisions: market-based transfers of IPv4 address blocks and deployment of Carrier Grade NATs (CGNs). Our measurements will deliver detailed characterizations of these emerging phenomena, and can be used to empirically ground a computational model of IPv6 deployment decisions.
We will release all data and tools resulting from this project and create accessible educational materials. The data and analysis will provide much needed insights to network operators, governments, and Internet policy makers about the future of the global Internet.