An Akamai view of global IPv6 address activity
Akamai has a unique viewpoint on global internet activity, as it stands between the end users of the internet and the major content providers to serve up many of the photos and videos for users. From this vantage point, Dave Plonka and his research group inspired us with their studies on how IPv6 addresses are being used across the internet, especially as a result of the great flexibility that is possible in the large IPv6 address space. For example, Akamai sees half a billion unique IPv6 addresses per day and 10 billion per month. They analyzed the stability of these addresses over multiple days and weeks, and shared how different data structures like Patricia tries are useful in the classification and analysis of these addresses. Dave also shared stunning “treemap” visualizations of the IPv6 address space and introduced the concept of IPv6 address “dendrachronology.” Finally, his takeaways were that IPv6 changes everything you know about IP geolocation, client reputation, threat mitigation, and monitoring/logging — there’s so much more to do!