Insights into the issue in IPv6 adoption: a view from the Chinese IPv6 Application mix
Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience
Although IPv6 has been standardized more than 15 years ago, its deployment is still very limited. China has been strongly pushing IPv6, especially due to its limited IPv4 address space. In this paper, we describe measurements from a large Chinese academic network, serving a significant population of IPv6 hosts. We show that despite its expected strength, China is struggling as much as the western world to increase the share of IPv6 traffic. To understand the reasons behind this, we examine the IPv6 applicative ecosystem. We observe a significant IPv6 traffic growth over the past 3 years, with P2P file transfers responsible for more than 80% of the IPv6 traffic, compared with only 15% for IPv4 traffic. Checking the top websites for IPv6 explains the dominance of P2P, with popular P2P trackers appearing systematically among the top visited sites, followed by Chinese popular services (e.g., Tencent), as well as surprisingly popular third-party analytics including Google. Finally, we compare the throughput of IPv6 and IPv4 flows. We find that a larger share of IPv4 flows get a high-throughput compared with IPv6 flows, despite IPv6 traffic not being rate limited. We explain this through the limited amount of HTTP traffic in IPv6 and the presence of Web caches in IPv4. Our findings highlight the main issue in IPv6 adoption, that is, the lack of commercial content, which biases the geographic pattern and flow throughput of IPv6 traffic. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Wiley via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 28, pp. 616 - 630