Despite all the efforts by the likes of RIPE-NCC, we're still short of hard facts when it comes to IPv6 take-up. And when it's reported that we could be out of IPv4 addresses, it might be useful to be fully acquainted with the current state of the market.

So it was interesting to read Arbor Networks' Jose Nazario's blog and see the statistics on IPv6, something that could provide a real snapshot of the current state of play. Nazario used an interesting technique to get a sample of real IPv6 activity - he used passive DNS replication, a technique that involves getting a information from a DNS query's return journey - to get a handle on the take-up of IPv6.

Nazario's snapshot threw up some eye-opening statistics: not least the lack of IPv6 penetration in Japan, a country that anecdotally has a high degree of take-up of the technology. Nazario also notes the high incidence of .edu sites - a sign of the importance of academic and research establishments in driving IPv6 forward. It's also instructive to see the high usage figures for Google.

The real key in Nazario's description is the phrase "anecdotally" - traditionally, this has provided us with many of the statistics for IPv6 traffic - hard figures are more difficult to get hold of. Sadly, Nazario has said that this won't be a regular exercise but at a time when IPv4 addresses are dwindling rather more quickly than expected, it would be useful to rely on real figures and accurate statistics for the state of the market.

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