The Internet Protocol is the foundation of the TCP/IP protocol suite and the Internet, IP lies in the 3rd layer of the OSI model which is Network Layer and the purpose of IP addresses is to route the data packets across different networks and provide network wide addressing i.e unique address to each device on a network. IPv4 is 32bit address which provides 2^32 i.e 4.2 billion approx IP addresses. There are more than 6 billion people on earth, no doubt that not everyone out of these 6 billion people consume IP address and there are just 2 billion people out of 6 billion who are consuming IP but these 2 billion people owns more than 1 network aware device which needs IP addresses to connect to the Internet so multiple device require IP addresses which leads of IP exhaustion, This is where IPv6 comes to rescue, IPv6 offers 2^128 addresses i.e 340 undecillion unique addresses and by one estimate we can assign more than 2000 addresses to every square meter on earth.
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Main problems during transition
The main problem is that IPv4 is running out of unique addresses to assign and this is the reason why we need to shift to IPv6 which cannot be done in a one giant leap, it requires sometime and strategy to seamlessly deploy IPv6 without interrupting the entire Internet and without bothering the customer because customer doesn’t need to be concerned with IP addresses and their up-gradation, it is the responsibility of ISP’s to take care of the seamless and smooth up-gradation of IP addresses without panicking their customers, but if there is too much delay and we keep on procrastinating it and avoiding the importance of transition from IPv4 to IPv6 then indeed there will come a time when ISP’s will need to call their customers and ask them to replace their legacy hardware and software to accommodate new IP version 6 and this is where one of the bottlenecks occurs because IPv6 is not backward compatible with IPv4 because the addressing system and datagram format are different. NAT (Network Address translation) comes in the way of direct, computer-to-computer communication because real-time applications such as voice over IP, online gaming, video conferencing experience delay in transmission because of NAT, with IPv6 since both the parties will have unique addresses then there is no need for NAT and there will be no delay so it implies that IPv6 is good for real-time applications, Also in IPv4 security suffers a lot because we don’t have any security built-in mechanism for IPv4, for that matter we need to implement IPSEC, in IPv6 – IPSEC is built-in.
Problems faced in Pakistan
In Pakistan the biggest hurdle in the way of IPv6 implementation is that there is lack of awareness amongst the people and ISP’s are very reluctant to implement IPv6 because of fear of cost and lack of technical skills – because staff will have to be trained to install, maintain and troubleshoot problems occurring in devices software that supports IPv6 because IPv6 header is quite different from IPv4 header, in Pakistan Cybernet is the only ISP that has taken the initiative to deploy IPv6 and started a project by the name “6 core” and they are in a transition mode and has begun offering IPv6 related services, they even offer training service for technical staff and they are encouraging people, government bodies and other ISP’s and educational institutes to start transitioning to IPv6 because we are depleted of IPv4 and in a very near future there will be no more IPv4 left to be assigned and then this is the time where we will have to take a one giant leap and might face temporal halt, Many routers these days are already equipped with IPv6 stack and they do support IPv6 as well as IPv4, Now Supernet and Dancom are also supporting and working with Pakistani IPv6 task force towards the seamless transition fromIPv4-toIPv6 and they all are working under the umbrella of Pakistani IPv6 task force and testing and deploying IPv6 transition mechanism.
PAKISTAN 6 CORE PROJECT
The 6Core is a network of IPv6 clouds present in Pakistan to share Information without going to International IPv6 Cloud. The links between these IPv6 clouds on the 6Core are made using IPv6. The IPv6 protocol currently is carried over IPv6 over IPv4 Tunnels because of unavailability of IPv6 WAN (Native) connectivity in Pakistan NAPs (FLAG Telecom, ITI PIE) 
Figure 1 Six core Network 
6core project is offering IPv6-over-IPv4 Packets, this is called tunneling and in order to require this service one has to register to IPv6 Core network and then they will carry your IPv6 packets encapsulated in IPv4 packets because not all the networks across the world are fully IPv6 native and they are disconnected so there is a very high possibility that our IPv6 packet is received by a IPv4 router which will not understand so that is why we will need to encapsulate IPv6 inside IPv4 and then later these networks will be shifted to IPv6 networks which is the ultimate goal of “6 core project” .
Deployment of IPv6 in CYBERNET
Deployment of IPv6 in CYBERNET has been broken down in to number of phases. List of these phases is shown below:
Phase I: Registration with APNIC for IPv6 CIDR.
Phase II: Building of IPv6 Test bed in KHI, LHR and ISB separately.
Phase III: Building First IPv6 Tunnel ring between KHI, LHR and ISB PoPs.
Phase IV: Building International IPv6 Tunnel with v6 Tunnel Service Provider.
Phase V: Launching of www6 and DNS6 services over Dual Stack Servers.
Phase VI: Launching of Dual Stack Media Server.
Phase VII: Building National IPv6 Tunnels between Pakistan v6 ISP/NSP.
Phase VIII: Establishing 6PE over CYBERNET MPLS Core.
Phase IX: Testing of IPv6 over xDSL.
Phase X: Testing of 6VPE over CYBERNET MPLS Core.
Current Status in Pakistan
Engineers has been working day and night across the world towards the implementation and promotion of IPv6, but the 6Core project is in a strong position in Pakistan with tremendous achievements and therefore IPv6 is penetrating in Pakistani’s ISPs and organization far more than any other Asian Country.
Progress of Phase 1 has been completed and Phase 2 is in progress.
Figure 2- IPv6 6Core Deployment Graph
IPv6 implementation mechanisms
a) Standalone (IPv6-only), in this case all the routers and networks support IPv6 protocol only and this is not practical at the moment because not everyone has routers that support IPv6 only because there are millions of IPv4 routers running already.
b) Dual-Stack Routers, Dual stack routers support IPv6 as well as IPv4 so if the user has IPv6 installed and is requested IPv6 service then router can serve it as if it is IPv6 only and incase if the same user requests IPv4 service then router can offer it as well as if it was IPv4 only, so it only depends on the user and the application requesting the service and router serves it.
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c) Tunneling, In tunneling IPv6 packets are encapsulated inside IPv4 packets so that they can be routed through IPv4 enabled routers as well, and this way all the disconnected IPv6 networks can be connected, when the destination IPv6 edge router receives the IPv4 packet then it looks into the header and de-capsulate it in order to get the IPv6 packet.
Figure 3 Tunneling 
IPv6 Backbone Ring in Pakistan
IPv6 Task force is the first project in Pakistan that has provided a common platform to all the renowned ISP’s in Pakistan (SUPERNET, DANCON & Cybernet) to collaborate with each other under one platform towards the growth and implementation of IPv6 and all of them has extended their test bed to international and national boundaries, all of the collaborating ISP’s are putting their efforts using the IPv6 Platform to build the Pakistan’s virtual IPv6 backbone. The first step is to build the Backbone Ring in Pakistan between these collaborating ISPs, Cybernet, Supernet, Dandom are the Top Level Aggregators (TLA’s) on the 6Core and they are connected via tunnels over the IPv4 Internet. All the ISPs are free and welcome to join this project and participate in the growth of IPv6 in Pakistan so there TLA list is not fixed, all the ISPs, educational, organizations and government sectors can connect to IPv6 Tunnel using these TLA’s
Figure 4- IPv6 Backbone Ring in Pakistan
IPv6 IN CYBERNET
Cybernet is one of the biggest internet service provider in Pakistan which was founded in 1997 and started offering its Internet and Data communication services then extended its network all over the Pakistan, Cyber is the first ISP in Pakistan which undertook the major of initiating IPv6 implementation by registering with APNIC for Ipv6 on March 2006 and was allotted with 2001:4538::/32 CIDR. After the allocation of IPv6 CIDR then Cybernet started its R&D on IPv6 test bed and appeared on the World map after establishing IPv6 Tunnel. In order to achieve end to end IPv6 service in Access/Distribution/Core which is the ultimate goal Cybernet been pursuing- they have 2 options either move every service over IPv6 built parallel each at a time but this is way to costly and service disruption may occur Or the one which is recommended is to first go for Dual Stack then integrate Dual Stack Distribution and Access Network to IPv6 enabled Core, this is the recommended way and its most suitable and the only reliable and feasible transition from IPv4 to IPv6 at this stage is co-existence.
Figure 5- Cybernet IPv6 deployment Graph
Asia is the largest consumer of IP addresses and we are running out of them very quickly, China is the leading IP consumer in the world and Pakistan is no less in consuming IP addresses so it is very necessary for the government of Pakistan to cooperate with “6 core Project” and offer training and conduct country wide seminars to indicate the importance of IPv6 transition and this is the right time to start that and the complete transition will take place in about 5 years at least but if we continue to procrastinate it then there will come a time when we will have no choice but to throw away our current hardware and buy the new IPv6 enabled equipment and also software or be disconnected from the world.
This report was written as part of our Research Report Course under the supervision of Sir Asim Riaz. The writers are very grateful to Sir Asim Riaz who supervised our report and periodically checked our report for further refinement and also the entire BS Computing faculty for their reviews and interest in our course and the students for their valuable feedbacks and comments, We would like to also thank to viewers for taking out time to review this report.
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