6NET is Europe's largest IPv6 related Internet research project, and aims to deploy and test IPv6 under realistic conditions. The 31 project partners represent a rich combination of research and industrial organizations. The consortium will provide a native IPv6 network on an international scale, throughout Europe, and to North America and the Asia-Pacific region, for test and demonstration purposes.
The 6NET infrastructure will connect more countries at a higher capacity than any other native IPv6 network deployed to date; initially spanning nine European countries, with links of up to 2.5Gbit/s.
The main goals of the project are to:
- build and operate a dedicated international IPv6 network, and use this network to validate that the demands for the continuous growth of the global Internet can be met with the new IPv6 technology.
- help European research and industry to play a leading role in defining the next generation of networking and application technologies that go beyond the current state of the art.
Sub-objectives are to:
- provide and operate a combined fixed/mobile IPv6 pilot network, in order to gain a better understanding of IPv6 deployment issues, including physical infrastructure, address allocation, registries, routing and DNS operation.
- operate an international pilot service such that geographically dispersed groups can interwork using native IPv6 facilities.
- study, implement and validate IPv6/v4 coexistence, migration techniques and transition tools.
- test state of the art IPv6 applications and access to legacy IPv4 applications and content.
- exploit the synergy between work being performed on IPv6 by manufacturers such as Cisco, IBM and Sony, DANTE, European NRENs and Universities.
First a stable European infrastructure will rapidly be put in place, and supporting network features will be developed in order that sophisticated applications - that take advantage of IPv6 capabilities - can be validated and demonstrated. Once the pan-European network is operational, the 6NET pilot network will be extended to link also North America and the Asia-Pacific region. In parallel with all these activities, management tools will be selected/developed in the project and integrated into the network operation procedures.
The work therefore follows an approach that allows for the incremental integration of new connectivity, network services, applications and management tools into the testbed.
The main items of technical work are focused in these 3 broad areas: infrastructure, network services, and application trials.
The IPv6 infrastructure will initially be based on a central core of European cities and be gradually extended within Europe and to North America and the Asia Pacific region. The extension within Europe entails not only the linking of new core locations, but also the pervasion of IPv6 within the NREN networks, and into many University campus environments. Each phase of this growth will be associated with new network operation and management features, and tests of interoperability.
Similarly, new network services (e.g. IPv6 DNS tree, IPv6 multicast, IPv6 mobility, IPv6-only wireless LAN access, VPN) and transition strategies/tools will be integrated and tested as they are developed. In parallel with all these activities, management tools will be selected/developed in the project and integrated into the network operation procedures.
Finally, the experimentation with applications will begin with IPv6 applications in common use (e.g. mail, web, vic, vat) and lead up to advanced experiments with state of the art IPv6 applications.
Key milestones are the successful completion of the 4 phases, that is the establishment of the IPv6 network (and its later extensions to the USA and Japan), the network service enhancements, specific for IPv6, and the corresponding application trials (this will be a cyclic process), and the validation of our IPv4-IP6 transition scenario. The overall result will be an operational and manageable broadband, large-scale IPv6 pilot network that will have been stress-tested with the latest applications.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
160 00 Praha 6
92130 Issy Les Moulineaux
EC4V 6J London
2770-192 Paco De Arcos (Oeiras)
2800 Kgs. Lyngby
OX1 2PZ Oxford, Oxfordshire
1700 066 Lisboa
78153 Le Chesnay
3511 CK Utrecht
OX11 0QS Oxford
LA1 4YR Lancaster
SO17 1BJ Southampton