Geoff Huston published an interesting number-crunching exercise in his latest IPv6-focused blog post: 8% of the value of the global Internet (GDP-adjusted number of eyeballs) is already on IPv6, and a third of the top-30 providers (which control 43% of the Internet value) have deployed large-scale IPv6.
The message is clear: The big players have moved on. Who cares about the long tail?
Obviously this message won’t persuade the naysayers who still believe IPv6 will never happen. They must be too young to remember what happened in the early 1990’s when some people started deploying something called IPv4.
At that time we were happily living in crazy worlds of DECnet, SNA, IPX, AppleTalk or whatever other acronym your preferred vendor supported, and there were those crazy people talking about IP. Nobody really believed IP would take on… until it did. It took years (every transition takes longer than expected), and it was more sudden than anyone believed (see also: punctuated equilibrium). We might be pretty close to that point with IPv6.
On a somewhat tangential note, I had the dubious privilege of being able to listen to a roundtable at (otherwise excellent) recent Slovenian IPv6 summit. The roundtable featured several local operators practicing group lamentation and yammering. Supposedly majority of them already deployed IPv6 in their networks and services, but almost nobody would enable it by default for residential customers due to lack of business case and perceived lack of content on IPv6.
Hint: You don’t need a business case for IPv6. It’s a business continuity solution.
Unfortunately not one of them realized that the rest of the world doesn’t care. The big guys (connectivity and content providers alike) have moved on and will build the next-generation Internet regardless of the denial of everyone else.