CloudFlare Enabling IPv6 For All Customers

CloudFlare logoBuried in a post last month about Martin Levy joining CloudFlare was this gem:

CloudFlare is enabling IPv6 by default for ALL of their customers!

If you are not aware of CloudFlare, the are a “content delivery network” (or “content distribution network”… either way it is “CDN”) that takes your website and makes it available through their large network.  A CDN can help you accelerate the speed at which users access your content. They also can help with performance issues, protection from DDoS attacks and many other website concerns.

CDNs also, as I documented in a video a while back, can be an easy path to making your web content available over IPv6.  In my own personal case, I have a couple of sites on a hosting provider that has only IPv4.  Given that I don’t have the time to move them to a hosting provider that provides IPv6, I’ve set both sites up to go through a CDN that automagically makes them available over IPv6.  We maintain a list of CDN providers we are aware of who support IPv6.

But back to CloudFlare…  a few years ago they implemented a setting for “Automatic IPv6”.  All you had to do was toggle that from “Off” to “On” and… ta da… your content would be available over IPv6.  Now, as Martin Levy writes on CloudFlare’s blog:

Many customers have flipped the switch to enable IPv6. That’s good; but it’s time to make the default setting “IPv6 on.” In this day and age this is a very safe thing to do. Over the next few weeks CloudFlare is going to make the default for new customer be “IPv6 on.” No need to flip that switch to be enabled for the whole Internet (that’s IPv4 and IPv6).

In the upcoming weeks CloudFlare will enable IPv6 for existing customers in a staggered release. CloudFlare takes the delivery of each and every bit very serious and you can be assured that every person at the company is involved in making this operation is successful. Yes there will be the option to turn off IPv6; but we strongly believe that at this point there’s little need for that option to be exercised. 

So IPv6 will be on by default for all new customers – and all old customers will be migrated to having that setting enabled.

The results are already being seen in some of the available IPv6 statistics sites.  Eric Vyncke noticed the uptick in his chart of the % of top web sites available over IPv6 and in a posting to the IPv6 group on Facebook attributed that growth to CloudFlare:

vyncke-ipv6-cloudflare

Regardless of whether CloudFlare drove that specific growth, the fact is that have a CDN provider enable IPv6 by default for all customers is a great step forward!  Now we just need all the other CDNs to do the same thing and we’ll go a long way toward having a significant amount of the Web’s content available over IPv6.

How about you?  Have you enabled you web content to be available over IPv6 yet?  If not, how can we help you?  Please do check out our IPv6 resources and let us know what other help you need.

April 22nd, 2014 by | Posted in IPv6, Tools | Tags: , , | 6 Comments

6 Responses to CloudFlare Enabling IPv6 For All Customers

  1. Joe Klein says:

    Although a CDN (content delivery network) does ease the transition to IPv6, it requires the business to insert another middle box owned by another business. This decision should not be taken lightly, as it has an impact on end-to-end trust, encryption, privacy, performance, operations, disclosure of customer communications, legal, compliance and security.

    • Dan York says:

      Joe, yes, it definitely is a balancing act that requires thoughtful consideration. Another challenge is that if you want both IPv6 and DNSSEC a CDN may not be able to deliver that for you. Most CDNs unfortunately do not yet provide DNSSEC support – or if they do it is only for customers that pay premium prices.

  2. After analyzing the Alexa top 1000, I noticed that a number of sites that are hosted on Cloudflare infrastructure have IPv6 disabled. Is Cloudflare still enabling IPv6 by default for all new and existing customers? If yes, any idea why there are sites that IPv6 disabled?

    • Dan York says:

      JJB, Yes, CloudFlare is enabling IPv6 by default for all new customers… and as far as I know for all existing customers. Presumably those sites chose to disable IPv6. It *would* be good if we could understand why. We’ll have to see if Martin Levy or someone else from CloudFlare can provide any insight.

  3. […] have the “Automatic IPv6″ setting enabled for danyork.com – even though it is now supposed to be on by default for all new […]

  4. […] IPv6 is Cloudflare.  Cloudflare has been on the forefront of IPv6 adoption and several years ago started automatically enabling IPv6 for their customer’s content.  By making IPv6 the default setting, this helped their customers unknowingly implement it and it […]

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