|Abstract:||Published in Proceedings of the National Conference on Undergraduate Research April 10-12 2008, Salisbury MD.
Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) has been proposed as a replacement to the current networking protocol, IPv4, used in the global Internet. IPv6 represents an entirely new protocol, incorporating improved routing capability, enhanced ability to support real-time audio and video traffic, better security and privacy, as well as a much larger address space. Technical challenges and operational requirements have hindered the Department of Defense from investigating and testing IPv6 on a large scale. To help facilitate the conversion to IPv6, we have built, tested, operated and maintained a pilot IPv6 network between the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland and the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York. This network hosted multiple operating systems and employed a Domain Name System server, a web server, a File Transfer Protocol server, a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol server, in addition to multiple PC and Unix-based clients. This network was then used to provide validation and refutation of operational concepts developed for the transition from IPv4 to IPv6. This research included investigations of network management, address allocation, Domain Name Services, protocol capabilities and communication, as well as transition techniques for migrating from the IPv4 protocol to IPv6. We present the results of our experience in deploying and testing an IPv6 network, discuss proposed best practices for the utilization of IPv6, and provide a list of lessons learned to include various incompatibility issues that were noted with many popular software applications. Finally, in exploring the added quality of service capability provided in IPv6, we present our preliminary results in testing and analyzing Voice over Internet Protocol on our IPv6 network.|