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IPv6 Transition Mechanisms

Kamal Ramadan Elmugrabi


The College of Industrial Technology/Electronics, Misurata, Libya
Email: kelmagrabi@yahoo.com

the Internet. It is now possible to share information with


anyone, anywhere in the world almost instantly.
The benefits of IP are so great, a preponderance of
organizations are moving towards Convergence, also
called Everything over IP (EoIP), where all voice, video
and data communication would occur over IP-based
networks.
The migration of Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) to
Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) will not happen
overnight. There will be a period of transition when both
protocols are in use over the same infrastructure. To
address this transition period, the designers of IPv6 have
created technologies and address types so that IPv6 nodes
can communicate with each other in a mixed
environment, even if they are separated by an IPv4-only
infrastructure.[2]. Protocol transitions are typically
deployed by installing and configuring the new protocol
on all nodes within the network and verifying that all
nodes and routers work successfully. Although this might
be possible in small or medium sized organization, the
challenge of making rapid protocol transition in large
organization is very difficult. Additionally, given the
scope of the internet rapid , protocol transition from ipv4
to ipv6 is an impossible task. The designers of ipv6
recognize that the transition from ipv4 to ipv6 will take
years and that there might be organization or hosts within
organization that will continue to use ipv4 indefinitely.
Therefore , while migration is the long-term goal , equal
consideration must be given to the interim co-existence of
Ipv4 and Ipv6 hosts [2].

Abstract The next-generation Internet Protocol, initially


known as IP Next Generation (Ipng), and then later as IPv6,
has been developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force
(IETF) to replace the current Internet Protocol (also known
as IPv4). To enable the integration of IPv6 into current
networks, several transition mechanisms have been proposed
by the IETF IPng Transition Working Group[1].
The need for a new Internet Protocol is well understood and
accepted in the networking industry. Requirements for more
address space, simpler address design and handling at the IP
layer, better QoS support, greater security, and an increasing
number of media types and Internet-capable devices have all
contributed to drive the development of Internet Protocol
version 6 (IPv6)[3]. The transition to a full IPv6 Internet is
expected to be a long process that raises several issues, most of
them have been under discussion within the Internet
Engineering Task Force (IETF) for years now. Many of the
transition difficulties come from the fact that IPv4 and IPv6
are two different protocols that do not interoperate, which
means that IPv4 applications do not work with IPv6 and IPv6
nodes can not communicate with IPv4 nodes. To facilitate
transition, the IETF has set up a work group called next
generation transition working group (ngtrans) which specifies
mechanisms for supporting interoperability between IPv4 and
IPv6. In particular, the group has focused on two major issues
the first one was how to enable communications between the
existing IPv4 world and the new IPv6 world, and the other
was how to enable communications among IPv6 islands
isolated in the IPv4 world or in future IPv4 isolated in the
IPv6 world. Since updating network infrastructure and
applications simultaneously is not feasible, we must provide
coexistence between heterogeneous networks (IPv4 and IPv6)
and heterogeneous applications (IPv4 and IPv6). Many
transition mechanisms have been developed by IETF to
provide coexistence between networks and applications. The
main goal of this paper is to develop a scenarios for IPv6
transition will be useful for ISPs, enterprises and customers
to carry out a smooth transition to IPv6 within a wide variety
of network configurations and scenarios. We have identified
three scenarios:

ISP networks.

Enterprise networks.

Unmanaged networks (users).


The goal is to provide guidelines to ISPs, network operators
and users for IPv6 deployment within existing IPv4 networks.

II- PAPER OBJECTIVES


Since updating network infrastructure and applications
simultaneously to support only IPv6 protocol is not
feasible and is not possible , we must provide coexistence
between heterogeneous networks (IPv4 and IPv6) and
heterogeneous applications (IPv4 and IPv6).
Many transition mechanisms have been developed to
provide coexistence between networks and applications.
Nowadays we have a set of transition mechanisms which
solve different communication problems and we have to
select which one is the best for each particular scenario.
The selection mainly depends on the applications and
services required by the end users.
To enable a seamless transition from IPv4 to IPv6,
several scenarios have been proposed by the IETF.
Existing IPv6 transition mechanisms can be classified
into four categories based on the techniques they use.
They are hybrid IPv4/IPv6 network, translation at IP or
transport layer, and tunneling.

Index TermsIPv6, IPv4, IPv6 Transition Mechanisms,


Proposed senarios.

I. INTRODUCTION
Over the past three decades, the development and use
of packet networks based on the Internet Protocol (IP) has
spawned one of the greatest revolutions in
communications the world has ever seen in the advent of

In this research we will examine existing transition


mechanisms from the point of view of ISPs, enterprises ,
users networks. Different scenarios will be investigated
with particular focus on the backbone structure and traffic
conditions in the networks, and what should a migration
scenario look like, which part of the infrastructure must
be replaced, and which equipment can be updated?
Finally, we have proposed a number of scenario
algorithms of Ipv6 transition for ISP, enterprise, and
users.

impact on current IPv4 services. This approach allows an


evaluation of IPv6 products and services before full
implementation in the network, and an assessment of the
future demand for IPv6 without substantial investment at
this early stage.
Start

Is there an
existing
Ipv4
network?

III- TRANSITION MECHANISMS

Network transition is very complex task, as there exist


several application of each transition mechanism, each
with its peculiar pros and cons. The IETF IPv6 working
group has designed several transition Mechanisms for the
deployment of IPv6.
The mechanisms can be divided into three groups:
Dual-stack techniques, allowing IPv4 and
IPv6 to coexist in the same devices and
networks.
Tunneling techniques, used when IPv6
packets traverse the IPv4 infrastructure.
Translation techniques, making IPv6-only
nodes able to communicate with IPv4-only
nodes.
Even though the techniques are presented separately, they
can and likely will be used in combination with one
another.

Is it
Large
network
ISP?

y
Partially upgrade some of your Access network
routers to Ipv4/Ipv6 dual stack. Use configured
tunneling to connect between them over Ipv4 core
routers.

IV- PROPOSED SCENARIOS FOR IPV6 TRANSITION

Move toward dual stack access


and core network.

A combination of the tools described in the previous


chapters will be useful for ISPs, enterprises and
customers to carry out a smooth transition to IPv6 within
a wide variety of network configurations and scenarios.
We have identified three scenarios:
ISP networks.
Enterprise networks.
Unmanaged networks (users).
The goal is to provide guidelines to ISPs, network
operators and users for IPv6 deployment within existing
IPv4 networks.
A. Algorithms of Ipv4 to Ipv6 Transition for ISPs
In the first, an ISP is already offering IPv4 services as
usual and now intends to offer new services based on the
new IPv6 protocol. So, some kind of transition
mechanism is needed in order to make the transition from
its existing network smoothly or, at least, to make both
protocols coexist.

Dual Stack Core network and


Dual Stack access network.

Figure 1: Ipv4 to Ipv4/Ipv6 dual stack ISP network


Transition algorithm
To provide an IPv6 service at the customer level, as a
network administrator for a service provider, you should
begin by deciding which areas and customers are most
likely want IPv6 services, and then identify the access
routers that can be upgraded to be dual-stack (a technique
for running both IPv4 and IPv6 protocols in the same
router) so as to provide both an IPv4 and IPv6 service to
these customer sites.
Initially, these access routers should be interconnected
over the existing IPv4 core routers or infrastructure using
one of the available deployment strategies to carry IPv6
over IPv4: carrying IPv6 packets inside IPv4 packets
(tunneling) .
Starting the deployment of IPv6 at the customer access
level permits an IPv6 service to be offered now without a
major upgrade to the core infrastructure and without an
impact on current IPv4 services. This approach allows an
evaluation of IPv6 products and services before full

Algorithm of ISP Network Transition


In this algorithm we will show how can ISP transition
from Ipv4 only network to dual Ipv4/Ipv6 stack network
as shown in figure 1.
In ISP we should look at the deployment of IPv6 in three
key phases:
Starting the deployment of IPv6 at the customer access
level permits an IPv6 service to be offered now without a
major upgrade to the core infrastructure and without an
2

implementation in the network, and an assessment of the


future demand for IPv6 without substantial investment at
this early stage.
Algorithm of Ipv6 Connection for ISP
The ISP will also need to establish Ipv6 connectivity to
its upstream providers and peers, it is of utmost
importance to require Ipv6 transit when negotiating IP
transit deals with the upstream ISPs. If the upstream is
not providing Ipv6 connectivity at the moment, it may be
possible to obtain temporary connectivity from a nearby
ISP, possibly using a short configured tunnel, tunnel
broker, or 6to4 mechanisms as shown in Figure 2.
However, the longer-term goal must be to require and to
obtain Ipv6 connectivity from the transit ISPs, because
otherwise the quality of Ipv6 connectivity will likely be
poor.

start
yes

Does ISP
offer native
Ipv6

no

Offer native Ipv6 connection to


ISP customers.
Customer
with only
Ipv6
network?

no

Start

yes

Is your
upstream ISP
provide native
Ipv6
connection?

Get your Ipv6 connection


from your upstream ISP.

Offer Ipv6 connection to


customers by tunneling
mechanisms like tunnel broker

Offer Ipv6 connection to


customers by tunneling
mechanisms like tunnel broker
or 6to4 mechanisms and Ipv4
connection by translation
mechanisms like NAT-PT or

Use configured tunneling,


Tunnel broker or 6to4
mechanisms to get your Ipv6
connection from another
ISP.

Figure 3: An algorithm how can ISP offer Ipv6


connection to his Customers

To transition to IPv6 ISP have many choices include:


Dual stack.
Manually configured tunnel .
Tunnel broker
6to4
ISATAP.

FIGURE 2: AN ALGORITHM FOR HOW CAN ISP GET IPV6


CONNECTION

Algorithm for ISP to offer Ipv6 connection to his


customers
In this algorithm we will overview an algorithm that
show how can an ISP offer Ipv6 connection to his
customers as shown in figure 3.
The ISP mechanism selection depend on the type of
customer network. There are the following customer
network type:
Ipv4 only stack network (this is normal
existing state).
Ipv4/Ipv6 dual stack network.
Ipv6 only stack network.
If the customer network is Ipv4 only network then the
ISP continue to offer Ipv4 connection to the customer as
before, but if the customer network is Ipv4/Ipv6 dual
stack network then the ISP will offer Ipv6 connection to
the customer by using some tunneling mechanisms like
tunnel broker and 6to4, and if the customer network is
only Ipv6 dual stack network then the ISP will offer Ipv6
connection to the customer by using some tunneling
mechanisms like tunnel broker and 6to4 and use
translation mechanisms like NAT-PT or TRT to offer
Ipv4 connection to the customer.

B. Algorithms of Ipv4 to Ipv6 Transition for Enterprise


In this section we will show how can an enterprise
migration from Ipv4 network to Ipv4/Ipv6 dual stack
network or only Ipv6 stack network, and how can get its
Ipv6 connection.
Algorithm of Network Transition for Enterprise
In this algorithm we will show how can enterprise
transition from Ipv4 only network to dual Ipv4/Ipv6
stack network or only Ipv6 stack network.
The Base Scenarios Defined are:
Scenario 1: Wide-scale/total dual-stack deployment
of IPv4 and IPv6
capable hosts and network
infrastructure. Enterprise with an existing IPv4 network
wants to deploy IPv6 in conjunction with their IPv4
network.
Scenario 2: Sparse IPv6 dual-stack deployment in IPv4
network infrastructure. Enterprise with an existing IPv4
network wants to deploy a set of particular IPv6
3

applications" (application is voluntarily loosely defined


here, e.g., peer to peer). The IPv6 deployment is limited
to the minimum required to operate this set of
applications.
Scenario 3: IPv6-only network infrastructure with
some IPv4-capable
nodes/applications needing to
communicate over the IPv6 infrastructure. Enterprise
deploying a new network or restructuring an existing
network, decides IPv6 is the basis for most network
communication. Some IPv4 capable nodes/applications
will need to communicate over that infrastructure.[4]

native-IPv6 services and IPv6 transition mechanisms,


enterprises are likely to do little more than set up isolated
local networks for testing.
The following factors are important in the IPv6
transition for an enterprise:
1.Amount of IPv4 address space : This is one of the
most important factors. Organizations that have a large
number public IPv4 addresses have the opportunity to
take a dual-stack approach. Organizations with fewer
addresses will need to use a mechanism that uses an
IPv6-only internal infrastructure such as NAT-PT or
ISATAP. It is also possible to run parallel networks that
run IPv6 and IPv4+NAT.
2.Speed of deployment: For organizations looking to
perform testing and gradually migrate to IPv6, ISATAP
or an internal tunnel broker may be the most appropriate
mechanism. In this scenario, an ISP would provide a /48
IPv6 prefix for division across various internal groups.
3.ISP service offering: Organizations that have access to
an ISP that can offer native-IPv6 connectivity have the
ability to use a number of tools. Those organizations that
do not have access to a native-IPv6 connection will need
to use a 6to4 tunnel or build IPv6-to-IPv4 tunnels to other
IPv6 locations.
The gateway of an enterprise network may have the
following cases:
a gateway with no IPv6 support.
a dual-stack gateway connected to a dualstack ISP.
a dual-stack gateway connected to an IPv4
ISP.
a gateway connected to an IPv6 ISP.

Start

Is there an
existing Ipv4?
network?

y
Do you
want
Ipv4/Ipv6d
ual stack
network ?

Is changing
from Ipv4
network
equipment
easy?

n
y
Existing equipment
gradually replaced by
Ipv4/Ipv6 equipment

Ipv6 stack only


network

Case 4 is not relevant for ISP, given that the goal of the
transition is not a native IPv6 ISP, but rather a dual-stack
ISP. In Case 2, both gateway and ISP network are dualstack enabled, allowing hosts to be IPv4, dual-stack, or
even IPv6 only. For Case 1 and Case 3, a tunneling
mechanism is necessary, and the choice for the enterprise
is which tunnel mechanism to use. These choices include:
Native IPv6.
Manually configured tunnel.
Tunnel broker.
6to4.
ISATAP.
Teredo.
NAT-PT, TRT.

Ipv4/Ipv6 dual stack


network

Figure 4: An algorithm of Enterprise network for Ipv6


Transition

Algorithm of Ipv6 Connectivity for Enterprise:


Several tools have been developed or are being
developed to help network administrators during the
migration from IPv4 to IPv6. Some of the tools provide
the means to tunnel IPv6 traffic through an IPv4 network
and some provide the ability for IPv6 to interoperate with
IPv4. Some are implemented in network equipment and
some are implemented in individual workstations. There
are several factors that impact which tools an enterprise
will use during a transition. The number of registered
IPv4 addresses, application support, service provider
offerings, and the desired transition time frame are
important considerations[5].
Deployment of IPv6-supported infrastructure by ISPs
will be a critical factor in the adoption of IPv6 in
enterprise networks. Until ISPs are ready to provide

While 6to4 is convenient and automatic, it can lack


reliability (depending on the 6to4 relays being used). It
also means the site does not use production address
space, or its own allocated address space. A manual
tunnel or tunnel broker would generally be preferred. If
the site is using IPv4 NAT, a tunnel can still be
established, but may need specific forwarding of (for
example) Protocol 41 on the NAT device, or use of a
protocol such as TSP to establish a NAT friendly tunnel
method such as UDP tunneling.

Start

Ipv6 Connectivity algorithm for dual stack enterprise


network:
Figure 17 shows an algorithm that indicates how can
an enterprise with Ipv4/Ipv6 dual stack network gets Ipv6
connection.

Does your
ISP offer
Ipv6
connectivity
?

Start

Get Ipv6
connection from
your ISP.

Does your
ISP offer
Ipv6
Connection?

Get the connection


from your ISP.

Use NAT-PT or
TRT to connect
your enterprise to
Ipv4 world.

Use Tunnel broker and NATPT mechanisms to connect your


enterprise network to Ipv6 and
Ipv4 world.

Figure 6: An algorithm for how can an enterprise with


only Ipv6 stack network get Ipv6 connection
Is there NAT
in the path?

n
C. Ipv6 Transition for User:
In this section we will show how a customer can
migrate to IPv6. Figure 7 shows A single user connecting
to an ISP
Most of ISPs have not any support to IPv6, and ISPs that
have their own business focused on IPv4 are tempted to
wait for a significant user demand before offering IPv6
services. Other providers aiming at innovative service
offerings targeted to build their own market-share might
instead be interested in pushing IPv6 as an enabling
technology. Therefore, Customers have the chance to
plan their IPv6 strategy independently of their providers,
and their enterprise by using transition mechanisms like
6to4, tunnel broker, Teredo, as shown in Figure 8.

y
Use The best choice for this state
Tunneling mechanisms like Tunnel
Broker to connect your enterprise
network to Ipv6 world.

Use 6to4 or tunnel


broker mechanisms to
connect your enterprise
network to Ipv6 world.

Ipv4 Internet
Customer

End

ISP
Network

Figure 5: An algorithm for how can an enterprise with


dual stack network get Ipv6 connection
Ipv6 Connectivity algorithm for enterprise with only
Ipv6 network:
Figure 18 show an algorithm that indicates how can an
enterprise with only Ipv6 stack network get Ipv6
connection.

Ipv6
Internet

ISP do not offer Ipv6 connection

Figure 7: A single user connecting to an ISP

to aid the network migratory to analyze and simplify the


migration process.

Start

It is very clear that there are many transition tools


available to assist in the process of migration towards and
integration of IPv6 network services. There are many
ways to evaluate and compare transition mechanisms.
From our research the following points could be
concluded:
There are many transition mechanisms and there are
differences between them in the technical and
performance characterises, and each one of them is
optimised specific services and applications, some of
them are useful for ISPs and the others are useful for
Enterprises and users.
The Ipv6 and Ipv4 are going to be co-exists for a long
time on Internet.
Deploying transition mechanisms at a large scale can lead
to scalability issues that could heavily limit the IPv6
performance compared to a native solution.
Transition from Ipv4 to IPv6 from the point of view of
large internet service providers(ISPs) is a complex task.
There is no perfect strategy since the transition depends
on the size of existing infrastructure and it is driven
mainly by customer growth.
We can not fully benefit from Ipv6 improvements unless
a full action of the Ipv6 transition requirements, which
requires that all routers have QoS and 64 bit processor
support.
With the algorithms described in this paper there can be
a smooth evolving towards IPv6-only services instead of
using both IPv4 and IPv6 protocols independently. In
other words, IPv4 access connectivity can be phased out
by using a translation mechanisms, such as NAT-PT,
were is implemented in the service providers backbone,
enabling v6-only terminals to communicate with the v4only resources on the Internet.
Since there are no Internet service providers (ISPs) are
IPv6-ready yet in Libya, therefore, to get going deploying
IPv6 we need the transition mechanisms for both
enterprises and users .

Your PC should
be Ipv4/Ipv6 dual
stack.

Does your
ISP offer
IPV6
connectivity?

Get your Ipv6


connection
from your ISP.

Is there
NAT in
the path?

Use Teredo or Tunnel


broker mechanisms
to connect your PC to
Ipv6 world.

Use Tunnel broker or


6to4 mechanisms to
connect your PC to
Ipv6 world.

Figure 8: An algorithm for how can users get Ipv6


connection
V- CONCLUSION
The need for a new Internet protocol is well
understood and accepted in the networking industry.
Requirements for more address space, simpler address
design and handling at the IP layer, better QoS support,
greater security, and an increasing number of media types
and Internet-capable devices which use EoIP have all
contributed to drive the deployment of Internet protocol
version 6 (Ipv6).
The current Ipv4-based Internet is so large and so
complex that the migration from Ipv4 to Ipv6 is not a
simple task. The migration from Ipv4 to Ipv6 will not
happen overnight. There will be a period of transition
when both protocols are in use over the same
infrastructure.
To enable a seamless transition from Ipv4 to Ipv6, several
transition mechanisms have been proposed by the IETF.
The three main transition mechanisms are dual Ipv4/Ipv6
stacks, tunneling and translators.
The main mechanisms are the dual stacks and tunnelling,
with translators needed only if the communicating
elements do not share the same version of IP.
This paper has addressed the general characterises ,of the
three transition mechanisms. Therefore in this work we
have proposed many transition algorithms for ISPs ,
enterprises, and users to help them to chose the
convenient transition mechanisms for their networks and

VI- REFERENCES
[1]

[2]
[3]

I. Miladinovic, K. Umschaden , General Evaluation of Transition


Scenarios, Forschungszentrum Telekommunikation Wien,
15.12.2004
IPv6 Transition Technologies, Microsoft Corporation, February
2008.

D. Lee, E. Stewart, Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6)


Conformance and Performance Testing, Ixia, 2003.

[4] . Nordmark, Stateless IP/ICMP Translation Algorithm (SIIT),


RFC 2765, IETF, February 2000.
[5] I. Shepherd, IPv6 Enterprise Transition Strategies, The
Knowledge and Engineering.