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TO Stanley J. Dale, Professor

FROM Nico Gazzano, Student

DATE February 5, 00

Help with essay on IPV6

essay writing service

RE Formal report IPv6

Here is the IPv6 report that you asked for. This report will touch on the basics of the new Internet standard that is being developed as the successor to the current standard IPv4, Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6). This report includes what IPv6 has to offer, the reason for its development, technical specifications, key issues involved with its implementation, transition techniques, and the costs involved.






by Nico Gazzano

This report is about the new Internet protocol standard IPv6. It is broken up into five parts what is IPv6, what is it for, technical specifications, key issues involved, and the costs of the transition.

Internet Protocol version 6, successor to the current Internet Protocol version 4, makes some small but significant changes. The IPv6 standard is being set up for growth and will be able to accommodate many new markets that are currently or will be emerging. Some of the larger markets include nomadic personal computing devices, networked entertainment, and device control. These new markets will allow us to combine computer and television characteristics and assign IP addresses to daily household items such as cell phones, Personal Digital Assistants, toasters, sinks and stoves. Imagine being able to start your car from your cell phone. Sounds as if we are approaching the James Bond technology era.

The first change is the amount of addresses that will become available to users. With the jump from -bit to 18-bit addressing there will be an increase to about 6x10 addresses per square meter of Earth. Compared to the decimal addressing scheme of IPv4, the hexadecimal addressing scheme will appear strange and will take some time to get used to. The IP packet heading has also been revised. IPv6 packets contain 6 fields and two 18-bit source and destination fields. The new header format is set up to allow headers to link up extensions. These extension headers contain the specific options for the packets. The configuration of an IPv6 network will take only a fraction of the time of an IPv4 network; the reason for this is the auto configuration of hosts and routers. Auto configuration makes it possible to set up a network, upwards of one thousand people, in less than one hour rather than a couple of days.

The transitions used are not as complicated as you might think, the main issue with the transition is Will the two protocols interoperate with each other long enough for the development teams to work out any bugs in the system? If this new IP does not work correctly, the entire internet may collapse in on itself and extremely important information may very well be lost forever.









Configuration 4







Number Page

Figure 1

Figure 4



Purpose, Scope, and Procedure

The purpose of this study is to inform the general audience about an internet protocol stack currently in development Internet Protocol version 6, or IPv6 for short. The content of this paper includes what IPv6 has to offer, the reason for IPv6, basic technical aspects of the new protocol, key issues involved in implementing this protocol stack, and the transition techniques and cost of implementing IPv6.

Problem Discussion

Internet Protocol version 4 or the World Wide Web, as is commonly called, is currently able to support up to 4. billion users, clients, or “surfers” simultaneously. 4. billion, that is a little less than the total population of the entire earth. That means that if technology is going to become more advanced, the World Wide Web is going to have to be able to handle it. There are already problems with illegal addresses being allocated because network administrators are using addresses that are already in use (IP Next Generation Overview). It’s kind of like if a neighbor wanted to use your street address on their house, it will not turn out good in the end. That is not the only problem though; IPv6 also solves the problem of automation. More than half of the IPv4 networks were manually configured; IPv6 uses an automated process to configure these settings that results in a major decrease in configuration time. There are also new markets emerging that require much larger allocated address blocks (IP Next Generation Overview). The most prominent of these markets include nomadic personal computing devices; networked entertainment and device control (IP Next Generation Overview). These new markets require much larger blocks of addresses along with new protocols. Nomadic personal devices include the small mobile electronics industry cell phones, personal digital assistants, and laptop computers. Networked entertainment will include mostly larger electronics such as, televisions and personal computers, which will be combined into one machine. Device control is one of the most prominent markets because it includes the networking of all household products toasters, microwaves, lights, and automobiles.

Solution discussion

IPv6 was designed to allow for growth, to meet the needs of new markets, to make system configuration easier, and to be compatible with the current version of the Internet, IPv4. While IPv4 is becoming more and more obsolete, research and development teams from around the world focus on the solution to this crisis. The solution they came up with the new protocol stack, Internet Protocol version 6, or IPv6. How does 4. billion addresses per square meter of Earth sound? Better yet, multiply that by 1.6 trillion and you’ll get about 6x10! That is per square meter of Earth! Currently, the average network could take up to weeks to configure depending on its size, but the automation configuration of IPv6 allows administrators to configure an entire network within minutes.

Technical Aspects


The differences between IPv4 and IPv6 aren’t extremely complex but then again, sometimes big things come in small packages. IPv4 currently uses a -bit addressing scheme that is based on a decimal numbering system, which is a 10-base numbering pattern (IP Version 6 (IPv6)). An example of this would be the address; each address consists of four numbers between 0 and 55 separated by a period. IPv6, on the other hand, uses a 18-bit addressing scheme that is based on a hexadecimal numbering system, which is a 16-base pattern consisting of numbers 0- and letters A-F separated by colons. A typical IPv6 address would be a series of 8 hex numbers consisting of mostly zeros and would look like this BEEDA00A000000000000006 B00DDEAB (R. Hinden). As you can see, this is a rather long series of numbers to use. The solution to the length of the addresses is a shorthand version that excludes the zeros in the address BEEDA00A6B00DDEAB (IP Version 6 (IPv6)). Notice how the group of fourteen consecutive zeros is removed and replaced by a double colon. This shorthand addressing is only applicable if there is one string of zeros, if there were two or more strings of zeros than only one can be compressed (R. Hinden). A modified version of this hex addressing scheme has been developed for addresses in IPv4 format; an example would be 00000000000000000000000014.1. 71.100. The same rule for shorthand applies here too, by replacing the zeros with a double colon.


The addressing scheme is not the only thing that has been reworked. The IP packet headers are also modified to accommodate the 18-bit addressing. The current IP header is comprised of 10 fields two -bit address fields for the source and destination, and a field for options. At minimum the header of an IPv4 packet is 0 bytes long. In the IPv6 header, the headers are now comprised of only 6 fields version, priority, flow label, payload length, next header, and hop limit (R. Atkinson). The source and destination fields remain the same, but are increased to 18-bits a piece. Variations that would have been present in the options field of the IPv4 header are defined using the next header field. This field tells the destination address host that there is an extension header with more information following this header but before the data. The first header sent defines the minimum needed for an IPv6 packet and also tells if there is an extension header following . This header includes the six fields mentioned above the version, priority, flow label, payload length, and hop limit (R. Atkinson). The extension headers are the headers that are linked to the first one and are located between the IPv6 header and the transport layer header in an IP packet. Each option is placed within a separate header and there is no limit to how many headers can be chained together. So far there have been only 6 extension headers defined routing, fragmentation, authentication, encapsulation, hop-by-hop options, and destination options. Figure 1 shows a diagram of an IPv6 header and figure shows an IPv4 header.

Version Priority Flow Label

Payload Length Next Header Hop Limit

Source Address

Destination Address

IPv6 Header

Figure 1 (R. Hinden IP Version 6 Addressing Architecture)

Version Hlen Service Type Total Length

Identification Flags Fragment Offset

Time to live Protocol Header Checksum

Source Address

Destination Address


IPv4 Header

Figure (R. Hinden IP Version 6 Addressing Architecture)


In addition to the addressing and header layout, the configuration of an IPv6 network is one that network administrators can only dream about. To many administrators, IPv6 is a bad idea that has no place being developed. The automated nature of this protocol stack is quite an impressing idea considering that more than half of the networks currently operating have been completely configured by hand. The 18-bit addressing allows multi-level hierarchies of allocated addresses. This means that the routing algorithms will be simplified, and less space will be needed for routing tables (IP Version 6 (IPv6)). This eases the directing of packets to their correct destination, and it makes automatic router configuration easily feasible. An automatic router configuration addition to the protocol is an essential for configuring routers in large networks (R. Gilligan).

Key Issues with IPv6

The technical specifications of IPv6 mean absolutely nothing if we cannot meet some of these key issues that are directly involved with the implementation of IPv6. These key issues are broken up into two parts growth and transition. In order for IPv6 to fulfill its job, and not have to be replaced in the next 0 years, it must be able to support extremely large global networks. With the arrival of new technologies, come new ideas and new products. These new products are capable of creating extremely large markets that may come all at once and require a different set of protocols from those available. These markets include, nomadic personal devices such as cellular phones, laptops, and personal digital assistants. All of which, require new protocols; networked entertainment, where we will be able to access over 500 television channels, and the combination of computers and television sets merging into once machine; and the last of the up and coming markets, device control. Everyday devices would be networked together and would be controlled by a controller or remote that is also connected to the IPv6 network. This protocol requires simple solutions, and should result in extremely large cost savings. The only problem with these new markets is choosing the right protocol to meet today’s requirements as well as those of tomorrow.

The transition technique that is most likely to be used is a gradual switch by upgrading small sections of the IPv4 network at a time. This will allow for administrators to observe any complications and deal with them one at a time rather than all at once.


IPv6 is currently still in production. Companies around the world have developed different software products to meet the standards set by the IETF. There are currently products available for purchase, and when the time to change comes companies should be prepared to spend some money to implement this protocol. Equipment would need to be replaced with equipment that it IPv6 compatible. The software for IPv6 is offered by most software companies but will be distributed in packaged software bundles by companies such as Microsoft, Linux, Novell, and Macintosh.

Summary of Conclusions and Recommendation

IPv6 is a technology ahead of its time. With the limited number of addresses available, a change is inevitable. IPv6 is being developed as a solution to this problem. Offering enough addresses to network every house on earth together, and with its ability to configure itself automatically, IPv6 is the next step in technology. The most amazing thing about this is now we can do just about everything. Welcome to the future of IP.


All of these studies about what IPv6 has to offer, what it is, and what new markets it will attract, mean absolutely nothing if there is no way to make the switch over from the old protocol to the new protocol. IPv6 workgroups know that a controlled transition from IPv4 to IPv6 will not take place. There is no way to make sure a company will upgrade to IPv6 on a certain day, so what developers must do is make this protocol stack flexible in its deployment (R. Gilligan). More importantly the IPv6 protocol must be able to communicate with IPv4. The two protocols will coexist for quite a while and eventually IPv4 will be weeded out and IPv6 will be the internet protocol.



IP Next Generation Overview


IP Version 6 (IPv6)


R. Atkinson, IP Authentication Header, Internet Draft, March 15.

R. Gilligan, E. Nordmark, Transition Mechanisms for IPv6 Hosts and Routers, RCF8, August 000.

R. Hinden, Editor, IP Version 6 Addressing Architecture, Internet Draft, April 15.

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