At 21 Tbps, reaching new levels of IPv6 traffic!

While setting a new record of 140 Tbps of peak traffic delivered on February 11th, Akamai reached another new milestone in the process: 21 Tbps of peak IPv6 traffic delivered! The global adoption of IPv6 is important to the future of the Internet and Akamai has been committed to helping move IPv6 deployment forward ever since we launched production IPv6 support in 2012.

IPv6 traffic on Akamai has been growing rapidly.  We first crossed 5 Tbps of IPv6 traffic in May 2018, delivering 3 Tbps of IPv6 traffic for the World Cup alone in June 2018. We’ve been regularly seeing IPv6 traffic peaks in excess of 10 Tbps over the course of 2019.

The U.S. and India continue to be some of the leaders in IPv6 adoption, with over half of traffic to those countries using IPv6 for many IPv6+IPv4 (“dual-stacked”) sites.  This is due to high levels of IPv6 deployment in many mobile and residential broadband networks.  Akamai now has working IPv6 deployed to servers in over 116 countries around the globe.

Akamai has made IPv6+IPv4 dual-stack the default for new configurations for the past few years, and we recently introduced functionality to make it even easier for customers to self-service enable IPv6 on existing configurations.

Enabling IPv6 has performance and availability benefits in many situations.  We have observed cases where large-scale events have overwhelmed an ISP’s IPv4 CGNAT (Carrier-Grade Network Address Translation) system but IPv6 has kept working fine.  We also routinely see higher throughput for IPv6 traffic than for IPv4 traffic on the same hostname.

Many Akamai customers have not yet enabled IPv6, but as this changes and as global IPv6 adoption continues, we anticipate seeing even more of Akamai’s traffic delivered over IPv6.

Erik Nygren is an Akamai Fellow and Chief Architect working in the Company’s Platform organization.

While precautions have been taken in the preparation of this document, Akamai Technologies, Inc. assumes no responsibility for errors, omissions, or for damages resulting from the use of the information herein. The information herein is subject to change without notice. Akamai and the Akamai wave logo are registered trademarks or service marks in the United States (Reg. U.S. Pat. & Tm. Off).  Published 2020-02-13.

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