Thanks to YouTube, Netflix and Facebook, IPv6 Traffic Hits New Heights On IPv6 Launch Day

You probably didn’t notice, but yesterday was IPv6 Launch Day and thanks to support from major sites like YouTube, Netflix and others, it was quite a success. In 2011, a number of leading websites, ISPs and home router equipment manufacturers came together to test the successor of IPv4. This time around, the organizers were not just trying to get participants to test their systems but to fully deploy IPv6 on their services. Given the ever-shrinking numbers of available IPv4 addresses, moving to IPv6 is a necessity, but the move to the new protocol has been rather slow.

As new data from broadband networking equipment company Sandvine shows, IPv6 traffic in the U.S. hit record highs yesterday, but the biggest recent gains actually came about two weeks ago when Netflix turned on IPv6 functionality for its network. Facebook followed a few days later and is now among the top IPv6 enabled services on the Internet.

Sandvine’s data is based on analyzing “the share of native IPv6 traffic on a major fixed-access network in North America,” so this data just gives us insight into a slice of total IPv6 traffic in the U.S., but its likely a very representative sample.

YouTube is still the most important driver of IPv6 traffic in Sandvine’s sample (57%), followed by Netflix (36%), Facebook and its CDN network (1.15% and 2.7%), and (1.42%).