1.Demonstrate deep and systematic understanding of system and networking concepts, including principles, technologies, and emerging trends.
2.Scientifically and critically analyse, implement and evaluate networking techniques, technologies, strategies and methodologies used in industry. Apply analytical and problem-solving skills in order to select and implement networking solutions appropriate to multiple organisational and environmental contexts.
- The title of your paper should be specific and not a generic one (e.g. you should not select a title as ‘IPv6 Transition Methods’). Use of a generic title will result in marks deducted.
- Avoid using quoted text unless it is essential. Too many quoted pieces of text will result in marks deducted as it does not show your own work. All references used must be within the past 5 years and only use earlier ones if you are referring to a standard, original work start date, start of a theory, etc. All references mustcome from quality sources such as journals, and conferences. Some reputable websites may be used such as BBC News or other networking websites, e.g. IEEE, Cisco, etc.
Unit learning outcomes 1. Demonstrate deep and systematic understanding of system and networking concepts, including principles, technologies, and emerging trends.
Scientifically and critically analyse, implement and evaluate networkingtechnologies, strategies and methodologies used in industry. Apply analytical and problem-solving skills in order to select and implement networking solutions appropriate to multiple organisational and environmental contexts.
Wikis, blogs, and similar websites are not accepted, and marks will be deducted for using them. Such sites do not have reliable content.
You MUST use the IEEE template posted on BREO and any submission that does not meet the IEEE template formatting will result in marks deducted (see Marks & Feedback section below). 5. It is essential that you demonstrate critical comparison, analysis and evaluation in your paper as this is a Postgraduate piece of work.
Ease of Use
This survey report will focus on Internet network protocol. Network protocols are used to establish secure connections between network devices. The devices are identified and data packaging is specified by the protocols. The modern networking protocols utilize packet switching techniques to receive and send messages between devices. Various networking protocols that are used are Internet Protocol (IP), TCP, UDP, FTP and HTTP. These protocols co-exist with Internet Protocol. IP has two versions namely IPv4 and IPv6. They differ from each other in features as well as in number of addresses that they provide. IPv6 is considered as the improved and enhanced version of IPv4.
The number of unique addresses that are provided by IPv4 are 4.29*10^9. Whereas that generated by IPv6 are 3.4*10^38 . The three major things that are provided by the two versions of Internet Protocol are exact data format, choosing path itself for sending data and performing routing functions. With the growing number of internet users, allocation of addresses are being limited due to scarcity of IPv4 addresses. As a result, a number of organizations are implementing Network Address Translation (NAT) that maps a single public IPv4 is addressed by multiple private IPv4. However, NAT does not support network layer security standards and this is a limitation of the technology. Therefore, organizations are planning to shift their network protocols from IPv4 to IPv6. Scarcity of address that was predominant in IPv4 will be eliminated by adopting IPv6. The number of addresses created by IPv6 is enough to accommodate billions and billions of people. The following paragraphs will deal with various transition methods of IPv6 along with the challenges, opportunities and risks of the transition strategies. Transition methods like tunneling, NAT-PT and dual stack will also be discussed.
The primary communication protocol that is used for the internet is Internet protocol version 4 (IPv4). IPv4 generates 4.3 billion addresses. When IPv4 was introduced, no one expected that this much addresses would be required. IPv4 was originally developed for a small group of organizations to communicate among the devices . No one ever guessed that the number of addresses allocated to users would exceed the number. Therefore, came the demand for transition to IPv6. The length of the addresses in IPv6 are 128 bits. Therefore, address number that can be allocated to users are 3.4*10^38. Moreover, IPv6 allows direct communication to devices.
Implementation of IPv6 involves installation of the protocol as a stand-alone Internet Protocol solution in an enterprise environment. However, most of the company do not require transformation to IPv6 as they think internet accessibility is good enough. However, if a company wants to shift, complete transition is impossible. This is because IPv6 is not compatible at the backward processing. When a new technology is implemented, it should be backward compatible such that the older system can still work. Therefore, to overcome this shortcoming of IPv6 various transition methods are used. The total transition from IPv4 to IPv6 would take a span of years. The enterprises involving IPv6 connectivity into their infrastructure will support both IPv6 and IPv4 concurrently . The interoperability between the two protocol suites can be ensured by various transition mechanisms. The common methods that are used for performing transition are dual-stack environment, tunneling and NAT-PT that is used for translating between IPv4 and IPv6.
A. Brief description of IPv6
The organizations need to make various preparations for supporting the duplicate process. If the enterprise meets all the requirements then a smooth transition will take place within a short period that will not paralyze any operations. The host hardware and the routers using IPv4 is not required to be changed in dual-stack tunneling method. On the other hand IPv6 will have the right for using all the IPv4 features and capabilities. The cost of the requirements is also reduced. The transition will be conducted by experts. The current infrastructure is first analyzed by experienced technicians and data consultants who advise the changes that need to be done. The following paragraphs will deal with the transition methods of IPv6:
When IPv4 is conservatively extended, it represents IPv6. A network stack that supports both IPv6 and IPv4 would be easy to work with that would share most of the code. The implementation of such technology is known as a dual stack and the host that implements a dual stack is known as a dual-stack host. Dual stack transition method allows the router or the host to use both IPv6 and IPv4 at the same time. The host in this transition method has both IPv6 and IPv4 address that is associated with Network Interface Card (NIC) . Routers previously supported IPv4 IP routing protocols and addresses. Due to this transition method, the routers will additionally be configured to support all IPv6 IP routing protocols and addresses. The router would be able to forward and receive both IPv6 and IPv4 packets only if IPv6 and IPv4 are supported.
If an organization wants to shift to IPv6 for communication inside the enterprise, dual stack transition method would be a reasonable plan. Dual stack is supported by most routers and the operating system used in desktop also support IPv6. However, new hardware and software might be required to upgrade to IPv6 . These additional requirements might cause a slow-down migration process. The extra time required is beneficial for the support staffs that will get additional time to learn about IPv6 workings. The duration and success of transition process are affected by a number of factors. Training as a factor is on the top of the list. IPv6 and IPv4 are based on the same fundamental principles however, they are different from each other and therefore, IT personnel require proper training. The training that will be required varies from person to person and is based on the role they play in deploying, developing and supporting IPv6 integration in an organization.
In the transition method of tunneling, one version of IP is encapsulated in another such that packets can be sent over a backbone network that does not support encapsulated IP version. The dual-stack routers encapsulate IPv6 packets into IPv4 that enables IPv6 systems to communicate over the network without upgrading to IPv4 network communications that continues living between the networks . A number of tunneling method exists between IPv6 and IPv4. Three tunnels are used by routers and the fourth type is used by hosts. They are described as follows:
B. Barriers in transition from IPv4 to IPv6
Dynamic 6to4 Tunnels: This method is mostly used by routers to support IPv6 networks. A dynamic tunnel is created on IPv4 Internet where the tunnel endpoints IPv4 addresses can be found dynamically . The IPv4 address is based on the destination IPv6 address.
Manually Configured Tunnels (MCT): It is also a tunneling method used by routers where tunnel interfaces that are referred as virtual router interface are created by referencing IPv4 addresses. The IPv4 addresses that are present in IPv4 header are used that encapsulates IPv6 packet. An option of manually configured tunneling is also present that is used when the tunnel is manually configured by network administrators. This method of tunneling is more deterministic and easy to debug than automatic tunneling. Therefore, this method of tunneling is recommended for well-administered and large networks . The tunnel endpoint manually reflects the renumbering and other changes in the network. IP header is over headed by tunneling as IPv6 packets are encapsulated within IPv4 and vice versa.
Intra-site Automatic Tunnel Addressing Protocol (ISATAP): This type of tunneling method is used is typically used inside an enterprise and is another form of dynamic tunneling. The IPv4 network is treated as a virtual IPv6 local link in ISATAP tunneling method. ISATAP is referred as an intra-site mechanism whereas Teredo and 6 to 4 tunneling are referred as inter-site mechanism . This means that ISATAP provides IPv6 connectivity connecting nodes within a single endeavor.
Teredo Tunneling: In this method of tunneling, IPv6 packets are encapsulated within IPv4 User Datagram Protocol datagram. These packets can be routed on IPv4 Internet and NAT devices . Normally hosts are connected to IPv4 Internet via NAT devices due to shortage of IPv4 address. Therefore, the NAT device is assigned the only available IPv4 address. The 6to4 tunneling endpoints are also required to be implemented on the NAT device. Several NAT devices that are deployed currently cannot be upgraded for the implementation of 6to4 due to economic or technical reasons. This problem is eliminated by Teredo by encapsulating the IPv6 packets in the UDP/IPv4 datagram. This can be forwarded properly by NATs . The IPv6 hosts can be implemented as Teredo-tunnel endpoints even if the hosts do not have a dedicated IPv4 address. However, IPv6 connectivity can be gained by a host that implements Teredo without cooperation received from local network environment.
All the tunneling methods discussed above rely on end hosts to support IPv6 connectivity. However, in several cases, IPv4-only host can communicate with IPv6-only host. There is a third class of transition that needs to be used in NAT-PT. It is defined as a tool used to translate IPv6 packet headers so that it looks like an IPv4 packet. The reverse is also applicable. The Network Address Translation- Protocol Translation that is defined in RFC 2766 of Cisco routers is used to perform translation . The router that is configured with NAT-PT needs to know its IPv6 address in order to translate into IPv4 address. The same information is contained in translational table of traditional NAT. Traditional NAT and NAT-PT have few similarities like both allow dynamic NAT, static definition and dynamic PAT that is used to conserve IPv4 addresses.
C. Requirements for transition from IPv4 to IPv6
Due to a number of problems, added advantage provided by Network Address Port Translation-Protocol Translation is that it offers translation of ports along with translation of address. The mechanism primarily avoids two hosts so that the same exposed port is not used on the other side of the mechanism. Such situation might cause security flaws and application instability.
Therefore, from the above discussed transition methods, it can be said that all the existing routing protocols needs to undergo several changes to support IPv6. Every component in the network is required to be changed in order to support longer prefixes and addresses.
The main challenge that is faced while translating from IPv4 to IPv6 is in design and implementation. The dual-stack host is capable of handling both IPv6 and IPv4 traffic while being connected to LAN. The DNS server enables names based communication when queries for communication are done by a source IP to a destination IP, for example the IP 126.96.36.199 is translated to the matching website URL name by the DNS . The DNS queries are routed through the Translator, and the DNS should be configured as the Translators’ corresponding address. The DNS-ALG (DNS- Application Level Gateway), in the Translator will forward the DNS queries to the actual DNS Server. The translation involves header conversion, which is made up of network address translation and protocol (IP header) translation. The protocol used for translation is SIIT (Stateless IP/ICMP Translation). The primary purpose of the translator is to make the end hosts (IPv4 and IPv6) believe they are communicating with hosts in their own addressing scheme (i.e. IPv4 to IPv4, IPv6 to IPv6) . To cater for this the appropriate modules in the Translator, kick in to translate the embedded addresses as shown by the DNS ALG and SIP ALG.
The main challenges apart from infrastructure that IPv6 face are listed as under:
- Large investments that needs to be made in the current IPv4 Infrastructure.
- The market demand cannot be analyzed and therefore the demand remains uncertain.
- IPv6 skills are lacking in people.
- Government incentives to deploy IPv6 are lacking.
- Ready solutions and products for IPv6 are lacking.
IPv6 is intended to replace and supplement IPv4. It is referred to as the next generation standard of IP address. Every device that is connected through a network needs an IP address to communicate with other devices. The number of addresses provided by IP version 4 standards is running out. Therefore, IPv6 is essential as a platform for economic development and innovator. As a result, the Internet service Provider, regulator, user and the business world are planning to shift to IPv6 . According to recent report, implementation of IPv6 is increasing around the world. The network contains nine million domain names and 23% of all networks have IPv6 connectivity . The total number of addresses provided by IP version 4 is around 4 billion. However, the number of users is growing day by day and every user has to be assigned a unique IP address. As a result, IPv4 is running out of space. Here lies the opportunity of IPv6. It provides more than 340 trillion addresses that will help to connect billions of people . The IP address standard will also ensure that the growth rate of internet is not hindered. Considering all the opportunities of IPv6, the stakeholders should seriously make transition from IPv4 to IPv6. The Internet Service Providers should prepare for proper deployment of IPv6. Experts and experienced technicians should be hired to make the transition. Additionally IPv6 provides improved features like than IPv4 like mobility, multicasting, security and auto-configuration.
The government should ensure that the systems that would be required for translating to IPv6 are ready beforehand. This would minimize the risks of stranded assets. There are various transition strategies that can help in translation and is discussed above. Internet of things has been made possible by IPv6.
There are various deployment models for transition to IPv6. They are Forced transition, solution led transition and smooth transition.
- No extra cost is required in smooth transition. It is considered as a part of the life cycle.
- Smooth transition takes around 5 to 7 years to transit to IPv6 gradually.
- Transition is made at the time of system renovation and at the time of new procurements.
- Enough time is taken and proper planning is done for smooth transition to IPv6.
- In forced transition, the government forces service providers to adopt IPv6.
- Government agencies adopt IPv6 standards.
- To solve the problems of the users, system is introduced as a solution, regardless of the IP version used.
- IPv6 is adopted as a solution to the problem of IPv4 because of some added advantages. The advantages over IPv4 are that it is cheap, fast, flexible, extensible and easy.
- IPv6 is deployed through useful applications and demonstrated through pilot projects.
Due to its huge capacity of accommodating users, IPv6 finds various applications in the modern world. They are as under:
- IPv6 is used for implementing a total building management system.
- Traffic can be managed intelligently as well as town security can be ensured through IPv6.
- It can also be used for providing emergency services in rural areas. It is used to link rural and urban hospitals.
- Another application of IPv6 is providing distance education. Quality of education in a city is enhanced in remote and rural areas. It facilitates universalization of education.
- Allows smart power generation and distribution through smart grid services.
- IPv6 is also used in railways for service automation, improved connectivity and addressability.
Figure 1: IPv6 in Railways
(Source: Alsaffar, Aazam and Huh 2015, p 840)
- IPv6 plays an important role in disaster management. This is because disparate networks are joined to form one network.
- IPv6 can also be used to provide citizen services. The IT infrastructures in states that supports IPv6 are State wide Data Center (SDC), State Wide Area Network (SWAN), Common Services Center (CSC) and so on .
- Promote Pilot Projects for Public
- Facilitate software development companies to develop IP Neutral applications, incorporate IPV6 capabilities in new software .
- Promote Research and Development into new applications that leverage IPV6 Functionality.
From the above discussions it can be concluded that IPv6 is the improved and enhanced version of IPv4. The three major things that are provided by the two versions of Internet Protocol are exact data format, choosing path itself for sending data and performing routing functions. The shortcoming of IPv6 can be overcome by using various transition methods. The total transition from IPv4 to IPv6 would take a span of years. IPv6 is essential as a platform for economic development and innovator. The interoperability between the two protocol suites can be ensured by various transition mechanisms. IPv6 provides improved features like than IPv4 like mobility, multicasting, security and auto-configuration. The common methods that are used for performing transition are dual-stack environment, tunneling and NAT-PT that is used for translating between IPv4 and IPv6.
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