Akamai says that 35 federal agencies that operate 1,200 individual Websites are using its dual-stack IPv6 and IPv4 platform to meet the IPv6 mandate. Akamai's network allows these agencies to accept IPv4 and IPv6 requests from users without having to change their internal platforms.
"We will have an additional 300 to 400 federal Websites dual-stacked between now and Friday the 27th," Schweickert said.
Two years from now, federal agencies must support IPv6 on their internal networks under the Obama Administration mandate. Akamai is working on a new service that will allow agencies to use IPv6 to communicate between their edge and origin servers, rather than proxying this network traffic over IPv4 as it is done today.
"When I talk to public sector agencies in other countries, some of them are looking to mimic the U.S. mandate," Schweickert says. "I definitely see the U.S. as the leader on this front, and I see other public sector customers trying to put similar processes in place in their countries to get IPv6 adoption to increase as well."
The emergence of the United States as a leader in IPv6 deployment comes at a time when both Asia and Europe have run out of all but small reserves of their IPv4 address space.
The European Internet registry - RIPE NCC - announced last week [Sept 14] that it had distributed all but its last /8 block of IPv4 addresses, which has around 16.7 million addresses. RIPE NCC has gone into conservation mode and will now allocate only 1,024 IPv4 addresses at a time to European network operators. Asia reached a similar milestone in April 2011.
The United States, however, is relatively flush with IPv4 address space. The American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) has three /8 blocks of IPv4 address space left, which equals more than 50 million IPv4 addresses.
Many U.S. organizations also have large blocks of unused IPv4 addresses that they received at the dawn of the Internet, before anyone realized IPv4 addresses would become so valuable.