Buried 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:
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.