Yesterday, I talked about some of the work I did in the weekend server overhaul. One of those tasks I wanted to talk about a little more was the addition of native IPv6 because I feel very strongly that IPv6 is important, not just to this blog, but to the future of the internet. I’m very excited that Linode offered native IPv6 in its datacenters as early as May and I’m sorry I missed that for World IPv6 Day. Linode even has a full FAQ just for IPv6. What I’d wish they’d add is a little section to the effect of “Is IPv6 easy to use?” in which case the answer is a resounding “Yes!“. Most popular server applications, such as Apache, require zero effort to get IPv6 compatible.
I pick out Apache specifically for a few reasons. #1 is that it does not require any special configuration to use over IPv6. It will bind to an IPv6 adapter just as it binds to IPv4. #2 because web sites are what most people care about. #3 – I want my website to be IPv6 accessible. Add on Postfix for mail and SSH (which also works natively) to enable remote access – and you’re basically ready for 100% native. Sadly, the deciding factor for most users on implementation of IPv6 is up to their hosting provider or ISP, most of whom don’t have much incentive to do the work.
Since I had turned on IPv6 just a couple days ago, I thought it might be interesting to see if anyone even used IPv6 now that I had turned it on. Is it helping anyone? Turns out it is. I wrote a script I (cleverly) named ipv6scan.php that skims your Apache logs and will tell you how much of your traffic is IPv4 and how much is IPv6. Below are a few of the sites I host:
—Stats for ipv6wiki.net-access.log—
Lines Total: 5031
Non-Pagespeed Lines: 3541
IPv6: 532 (15.02%)
IPv4: 3009 (84.98%)
—Stats for snowulf.com-access.log—
Lines Total: 222650
Non-Pagespeed Lines: 126976
IPv6: 1778 (1.4%)
IPv4: 125197 (98.6%)
Other: 1 (0%)
—Stats for recentchangescamp.org-access.log—
Lines Total: 52281
Non-Pagespeed Lines: 11555
IPv6: 10 (0.09%)
IPv4: 11545 (99.91%)
I was pleasantly surprised to see that on just about every site, there were a few IPv6 based hits. Last report I remember reading said the percentage of IPv6 traffic was minuscule (sub 1%). My stats are higher than most normal sites since I write towards the mostly technical (whom are more likely to have native or tunneled IPv6). In the end, it is nice to see that there are people out there with IPv6 (though I wish there were more), which means that any work involved making sites/services accessible over v6 is not wasted.