Today is the fourth anniversary of World IPv6 Launch, where in 2012 thousands of websites and hundreds of networks permanently enabled IPv6. I wrote about this anniversary over on CircleID and prominently mentioned that Google’s global IPv6 statistics just went over the 12% mark this past weekend.
Up from 1% just 3.5 years ago (end of 2012). That’s a very remarkable growth rate and a clear sign that the transition to IPv6 IS happening, no matter what critics may say!
Coupled with the fact that as of June 1 Apple is now requiring all iOS apps to work on an IPv6-only network… the situation is definitely clear that application developers need to understand how to make their apps work over IPv6 – and sooner rather than later.
This book was obviously written to help, but there are other resources available now to help developers.
The key point is to get started now! Before that 12% becomes 25% or 50% … and your app that only works on legacy IPv4 networks starts to have more challenges. Do it today!
An audio commentary about this 4th Launchiversary is also available:
I noticed recently that my friend Olle Johansson had posted this nice intro to IPv6 from a presentation he gave back in March:
What I like about it is that he provides some of the motivation for why we need to care about IPv6.
Some amazing percentages of IPv6 deployment in the February 2015 World IPv6 Launch measurements. As I wrote about on the Deploy360 blog, Verizon Wireless now is showing 56% IPv6 deployment and T-Mobile USA just crossed over 50% IPv6.
If you read the notes on the bottom of the measurements page you can see that Google, Facebook, Akamai, LinkedIn and Yahoo! are all measuring the amount of the amount of IPv6 they are seeing to their sites and reporting that back to the World IPv6 Launch project.
The key point for application developers is that all those people on those networks will be able to natively connect over IPv6 – if your application works over IPv6.
And a reason for caring may be… speed!
If a network is deployed with IPv6 in the main network, as I understand T-Mobile USA has now done, then connections from IPv6 clients can do directly to IPv6 servers. But connections to legacy IPv4 services will need to go through a gateway. Gateways typically introduce some degree of latency / delay, even at a microscopic level.
If your application works with IPv6 then you won’t need to worry about any v6/v4 gateways with any potential delays.
The reality that these measurements show is that IPv6 is very real today – will your app work over IPv6?
P.S. the goal of this book is to help! 🙂
It is fun to watch the various IPv6 statistics sites because they continue to show the amazing growth of IPv6 around the world. The World IPv6 Launch measurements now show Verizon Wireless’ network at 59% IPv6, T-Mobile USA at 43%, AT&T at 25%. Google’s IPv6 statistics show that traffic into Google web sites globally is about to hit 5%. And then today Akamai launched new IPv6 trend charts that show IPv6 traffic out of Belgium at 29.2%, from Germany 12% and from Luxembourg and the USA right at 10% with Peru not far behind.
All of this shows that IPv6 deployment is very real! If you haven’t started migrating your applications so that they will work over IPv6 in addition to IPv4, why not?
Obviously I’d encourage you to buy the book to help understand what you need to do… but you can also view the many IPv6 resources out there on the Internet to learn more! The key point is that you need to get started NOW! IPv6 is being deployed globally – will your application work over IPv6?
As part of my job at the Internet Society Deploy360 Programme, we recently published a whole new batch of IPv6 case studies during the 2nd “Launchiversary” of World IPv6 Launch. However, if you scan down that list of case studies you’ll see one interesting omission:
There are NO case studies from application developers!
None. Zilch. Zero.
This needs to change! If you are an application developer and have migrated your application over to work on IPv6, my colleagues and I at the Internet Society would love to write up a bit about what you have done. PLEASE CONTACT US!
It doesn’t have to be anything gigantic. It could just be a simple article explaining what you did to make your application work over IPv6. Or it could be a paragraph linking to a video of a presentation you gave or a set of slides. We are glad to “interview” you, too, via email or a voice/video call to capture information that we will then write up. All we need is your interest and willingness to be included. Please do let us know.
Separately from that, I am still interested in including some case studies in the next version of this “Migrating Applications To IPv6” book that I’m targeting for early 2015. I have a list of questions that I’d like to ask some of you and include in the book. The benefit to other developers will be that they will get to learn about how to move to IPv6 based on your experience. The benefit to you is that I’ll mention your application and name and give you the added publicity from being in the book. The benefit to the Internet is that we’ll get more people moving over to IPv6 sooner rather than later! If you are interested in being considered for the book, please contact me directly!
What questions would you like to ask of developers who have successfully migrated their applications to IPv6? What tips and tricks would you like to learn?
I am planning to update “Migrating Applications to IPv6” this summer to include pointers to some of the newer RFCs and transition tutorials and in doing the update I would like to add in mini-“case studies” of applications that have already made the transition to IPv6. Some of the questions I’m thinking of asking developers include:
- How easy or difficult was the migration to IPv6 for your application?
- What was the most challenging aspect of the migration?
- Were there any specific tools or libraries that proved to be the most helpful?
- Did you encounter any surprises in terms of IP address dependency? i.e. places in your code where you didn’t realize you depended upon an IP address?
- Did you have to make any significant changes to the way you store information? i.e. configuration files, databases, etc.
- How did you test your application in an IPv6 environment?
- Does your app work in both an IPv6-only and dual-stack environment?
- Is there anything you wish you’d known before you started the move to IPv6?
Do you have other questions you would like me to ask? If so, please either leave a message for me here on the site or on one of the social networks where I post this message – or send me an email.
I would also be interested to hear which of these questions above are the most important to you. What are your top 2 or 3 concerns about migrating your app to IPv6?
Also, if you are an application developer who has already ported your application to IPv6 and would be interested in being a case study in the updated book, please contact me as I am looking to get started on these updates soon.
On that note, I’m also thinking about perhaps creating some interviews in video and audio form related to these questions above… so if you would be interested in some multimedia exposure for your application please let me know that, too. (Thanks!)
Today at the RIPE66 meeting in Dublin, Ireland, Bert Hubert of PowerDNS fame gave a great presentation about “Making an application fully IPv6 compliant“:
The video and audio for the session should be available soon. I very much enjoyed Bert’s presentation and he had a few points that I will think about adding to the next version of the book. One specific point is around collecting statistics. Bert noted that in IPv4 you again typically only have one IP address to worry about for each connection, while in IPv6 you may have many different IP addresses for a connection (or you could have). And so you may need to think about your storage of all that statistics information.
I only had two minor quibbles with Bert’s slides:
- On slide 11, Bert suggests there could be several different ways of displaying IPv6 addresses with port numbers. As I stated in the question time, RFC 5952 states that it should be Bert’s choice “a”.
- On the issue of how to choose whether to use the IPv6 or IPv4 interface, the “Happy Eyeballs” technique defined in RFC 6555 is one that many developers are now using.
Overall, I was very glad to see Bert’s presentation out there as we need to have more such presentations helping application developers think about these issues of migrating to IPv6.
P.S. If you want to easily refer people to Bert’s slides, he provided the very easy URL of:
A curious aspect of writing a book is that you never actually need to meet the people with whom you are working at a publisher. Everything can be done online with maybe an occasional phone call thrown in. Editors, production staff, publicists… all the interaction happens primarily through email.
It’s nice, though, when you do get a chance to put a face with a name. As shown below, I got a chance to catch up with Mike Loukides, the editor at O’Reilly who first approached me about the “Migrating Applications to IPv6” book project and who worked with me to make it happen:
This was at the O’Reilly Tools of Change conference back in the beginning of the year. (Excellent conferences, by the way!) I just stumbled upon the photo and thought I should post it. I still haven’t met the other editors and staff who helped me with the book, but that is indeed the way it works.
Recently I noticed that my list of IPv6 resources for application developers had not been updated since the second version of Migrating Applications to IPv6 was published in June 2012. I’ve now gone ahead and updated the list to have all the links that I added to the second release of the book.
Now, granted, some of the links may not make much sense without the context of what is in the book, but they are all there so that you can easily visit them. (And hey, if you want the context, why not buy the book? 😉
If you have suggestions for additional resources I should add, please do contact me as I’m always open to considering new content to add to the book. From the beginning this has always been conceived as a collection of guidance for application developers looking to move their applications over to IPv6, so please do pass along any thoughts you think I should consider adding to the book. (Thanks!)
Would you like to be notified when updates are made to “Migrating Applications to IPv6“? If so, there’s a nifty little sign-up box over in the right sidebar that will add you to an email distribution list that I will use ONLY to alert you to news about the book. Info about updates will also be posted here to the book’s blog, of course, and will also appear on the Google+ page and in my normal Twitter stream. But I realized recently that some readers might want to receive specific messages when updates are available. If you purchase the ebook directly from O’Reilly, you’ll get notified through their notification system, but if you purchase through another retailer – or would just like to receive an extra update, please feel free to subscribe. I promise I won’t spam you or do anything else with your email address outside of alert you to the new updates.
Thanks for your interest in the book!