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IPv6 offers so many technological benefits over IPv4. In order for this technology to be implemented there must be co-exist of next generation IP and present IP some length of time. However, a lot of potential strategies and mechanism has been developed for managing the transition from IPv4 to IPv6. The basic mechanism has been categories and will be discussed in this section.
Dual Stack: This mechanism allows IPv6 and IPv4 to be installed on same device (host) and same network. The host (device) can access the IPV4 and IPv6 using different internet protocol stack as shown in figure 3. The host decides on which of the protocols is most appropriate for a particular application. This technique allows the IPv6 to function and at the same time not neglecting its processor IPv4. Although it is the easier and the most preferred mechanism by many, it posts some limitations which include: high memory usage, upgrade of router to IPv6 compatible and maintain dual routing table.
Tunnelling: This mechanism is use in connecting two separate networks usually applied in point to point networking. This allows packet of IPv6 to be transmitted over the present IPv4 network infrastructure. This mechanism permits organisation to migrate part of its network to IPv6 while the others are still operating on the IPv4 backbone. With this technique, secluded IPv6 network can logically connect to the backbone router until it is due for replacement with IPV6 compatible equipment. It also allows networks running on IPv6 to operate even when the Service Providers are running on IPv4 only. There are two types of tunnelling namely: manual and automatic tunnelling.
- Manual Tunnel: This involves manually configurations of the end systems of IPv4 and IPv6 with the correct public IP addresses.
- Automatic tunnelling: It enables secluded IPv6 network to connect over existing IPv4 infrastructure. This connection does not need to be managed or supervised directly because the IPV4 network is treated as fundamental link. The Ipv4 address is inserted intoIPv6 address in other to locate the tunnelling destination.
6-Over 4: This mechanism createvitual link to using IP4 multicast group. This involves mapping of multicasting address of IPv6 to IPv4 multicasting addresses to ensure that the router undertake neighbour discovery.
Multi-Protocol Label Switching Tunnels. This tunneling mechanism uses label in forwarding data not IP headers. It enables the isolated IPv6 network domain to communicate with others over MPLS IPv4 core network. The deployment of this technology is involves little changes of the configuration of the core router, few upgrade of the infrastructure and it offer a cost effective solution.
This mechanism translates IPv4 to IPv6 packets. The several techniques used are based on Stateless Translation Algorithm. STIIP offers a straight translation between the headers of two protocols. This translation provides model mapping between the two protocol using stateless modes.
Network Address Translation-Protocol Translation, NAT-PT
It makes used of SIIT stated above for protocol translation. It offers communication between IPv6-only and IPv4-only host. The translators are sited at the gateways between IPv4 and IPv6 networks. The both networks maintains more than one global address which are assigned dynamically to IPv6 network each time a connection is initiated across the gateways. The mechanism allows communication between the IPv6 and IPv4 network and vice versa. The translation is mechanism is done the network layer of OIS.
Transport Relay Translator
It defines the communication of between the hosts of IPV4 and IPv6 using transport layer translation services. Its functions using similar mechanism like the NAT-PT but the translation of IPv4 to IPv6 is done on the transport layer of the OIS.
Looking at the benefits of IPv6 in various aspect of today technology, everyone one will support fast implementation of the Internet protocol worldwide, IPv6 is facing some challenges, which will be highlighted.
The cost of deployment and upgrading of the present infrastructure to IPv6 has been serious challenges of implementations of IPv6. As describe above, different mechanism demands partial or total overhauling of routers switches and other core network equipment.
The network vendors are faced with the challenges of manufacturing router that will support the coexistence and transition mechanisms stated above. Network Equipment Manufacturer (NEM) are faced with challenges of designing application that will support smooth transition mechanism like tunneling and integrated this technology into router design.
The usage of Networking Translation Address (NAT) is really delaying the implementation of IPv6. Organizations are not border since the IPv4 is still working disregarding the address depletion and security problem associated with NAT.
The challenge of acceptable and economic impact on the Service Provider and Network Vendor and interruption of internet which is used in every aspect of life as also been the problem or challenge to be considered.
Despite the challenges facing in deployment of IPv6 as addressed in this paper, it is expected that IPV6 will be deployed very soon following the US mandate to purchase only IPv6 compatible products. This has influence greater percentage of the vendors to research in building router and equipments that will enable smooth transition. Nevertheless, several vendors like Cisco, Microsoft and other has established training programmes for implementation of IPv6 Protocol. The test bed implemented has been done in China and Japan. Organizations and campuses can migrate their network to IPv6 using the mechanism stated in this paper.