Hurricane Electric has announced that it is the first network in the world to connect to over 4,000 IPv6 networks, continuing its leadership role in deploying and promoting IPv6 globally. The company first deployed IPv6 on its global backbone in 2001 and became the first network in the world to connect to 1,000 IPv6 networks in 2010.
IPv6 is the next generation Internet protocol designed to replace the legacy IPv4 protocol due to IPv4's lack of addresses to support the long-term growth of the Internet, increasing number of smart phones and proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT), the latter of which has dramatically expanded the volume of Internet aware devices such as TVs, cars, home security cameras, air conditioners, lights, etc. To enable this, IPv6 addresses have 128 bits while IPv4 addresses only have 32 bits.
According to the Google IPv6 statistics page, the percentage of users that access Google over IPv6 passed 20% for the first time on July 22nd, 2017. This is a doubling from 10% usage in January of 2016.
The impressive growth in the number of networks that Hurricane Electric has connected to can be traced to its global strategy of expanding to more countries and cities in order to provide existing customers with more direct routes while also reaching new customers. As Hurricane Electric continues to extend its network throughout the world, it will boost its long-held role as the most connected IPv6 network while strengthening its newly attained position as the most connected IPv4 network, providing robust support for the next billion people coming online. During the remainder of 2017, Hurricane Electric will continue to make additional investments to its network in strategic locations across the globe.
“We've been aggressively growing our next generation IPv6 network, which has created tremendous growth in the number of networks we connect to,” said Mike Leber, president, Hurricane Electric. “This increase will provide more direct paths to more destinations, lower latency, and improve throughput for the networks and Internet companies we serve, resulting in a better Internet experience for their customers. We started building an IPv6 backbone long ago to be better prepared to best serve our customers so they can continue their growth unimpeded as the Internet gradually transitions to this new protocol.”
Hurricane Electric offers an intuitive BGP Tool Kit (bgp.he.net) that analyses the BGP routing tables of large Internet networks. The tool kit features route graphs that show to whom Autonomous Systems are connected and how routes propagate. Peering relationships can be investigated to determine how routes are exchanged and how transits are handling particular routes.
In related news, on March 14th, 2016, Hurricane Electric connected to 5,000 IPv4 networks, establishing itself as the most connected IPv4 network in addition to its position as the most connected IPv6 network. The company is currently connected to more than 6,400 IPv4 networks; a figure that will continue to grow in the future.