Significant progress has been made in the scale deployment of IPv6 in China. Wu Hequan, academician of the Chinese Academy of engineering, delivered a keynote speech on “developing IPv6 functions and enhancing network facilities” at the second China Internet infrastructure resources conference recently. Wu Hequan said that China’s IPv6 users are growing rapidly. According to statistics, in August 2020, the number of IPv6 active users in China will reach 365 million, accounting for 40.32% of Internet users.

At present, the development of IPv6 in China has achieved good results, but it needs to be noted that there is still a certain gap between the development of IPv6 in China and the target of 2020. In this process, we should have a correct understanding of the opportunities and possible challenges.

When the scale deployment of IPv6 is in progress, the application of IPv6 is insufficient, and the channel resistance of IPv6 is long

When IPv6 scale deployment is in progress

With a series of policy support and industry chain efforts, the development of IPv6 in China has been in the forefront of the world.

In 2017, the development of IPv6 in China entered the key node after the central office and the State Office issued the “action plan for promoting the scale deployment of Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6)”. In March this year, the Ministry of industry and information technology clearly pointed out in the notice on launching the special action to enhance the end-to-end connectivity of IPv6 in 2020 that it is necessary to optimize and enhance the network access capability of IPv6, and comprehensively expand the IPv6 coverage of data centers. By the end of 2020, the number of IPv6 active connections will reach 1.15 billion.

According to the global IPv6 address allocation data released by the Asia Pacific Internet Network Information Center, as of the end of December 2019, in the global IPv6 address resource ownership ranking, the United States ranked first, China ranked second, and Germany ranked third. According to the data of China Internet Network Information Center, as of the end of December 2019, the total number of IPv6 address assignments in China is 47885 (blocks / 32). The average proportion of global IPv6 users is 27%. At present, the degree of deployment and application of IPv6 in China is in the forefront of the world. It can be seen that IPv6 is really used in China.

In promoting the scale deployment of IPv6, the three major operators, as the main force, have spared no effort and achieved remarkable results.

First, the transformation of IPv6 network has been completed. At present, the transformation of LTE network in 30 provinces has been completed, the end-to-end connection of mobile network has been realized, and the IPv6 service has been fully opened. At the same time, the Internet backbone network fully supports the IPv6 bearer, the man has basically completed the transformation of IPv6, and the 14 backbone direct connection points have realized the IPv6 interconnection of 13 direct connection points. China Telecom, China Mobile, China Unicom, China Radio and television, education network and science and technology network have opened IPv6 network monitoring with a total bandwidth of 6.39tbps.

Second, IPv6 network traffic has increased significantly. The proportion of IPv6 traffic in LTE network is growing rapidly. As of July 2020, the total traffic of LTE core network of China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom has reached 4372.06gbps, and the average proportion of IPv6 inflow traffic has jumped from about 1.7% last year to 10.25%. Among them, the IPv6 traffic of China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom accounted for 11.74%, 10.07% and 8.93% respectively. Since 2018, the inflow traffic of China’s man has jumped from 50.65g to 4.72t.

IPv6 is the “base” of interconnection of all things

Every era has its technological base.

In the era of 2G, 3G and 4G, the technology base is IPv4 and MPLS, because there is no need to have so many terminals connected to the network. However, in the era of 5g and cloud, great changes have taken place in the technology base, and the IPv4 address is no longer enough. Moreover, if the connection between the terminal and the cloud is only realized by Nat conversion through IPv4, the two sides of the connection can not directly visit each other anytime and anywhere, and the performance bottleneck of the NAT device itself directly affects the efficiency of the connection. The concept of IPv6 is “one address in a grain of sand” ”All things are interconnected.

In 2017, China launched the “action plan for promoting the scale deployment of Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6)”, and specially set up the Expert Committee for promoting the scale deployment of IPv6 as the guidance of top-level design, which is to comprehensively promote the deployment of IPv6 in all walks of life and realize the interconnection of everything.

Compared with IPv4, the biggest characteristic of IPv6 is that the address becomes 128 bits, and the second is that network programmability can be realized based on IPv6. IPv6 supports various extension headers. These extensions make IPv6 traffic more transparent in the network, and the network can recognize the traffic and process it intelligently.

For example, when the network device sees the slice extension header, it can allocate the QoS resources corresponding to the extension header to these services. When it sees the network measurement extension header, it can know when to fill in the arrival and departure time of packets. When it sees the srv6 extension header, it can know which cloud the traffic is sent to, which cloud has the lowest delay, or which cloud has the largest end-to-end bandwidth.

Insufficient application, IPv6 channel blocking and long

Although the country has been vigorously developing IPv6, and the domestic IPv6 scale deployment has made great progress, Academician Wu Hequan also pointed out that there are still many shortcomings, which can be summarized as three points: first, most of the current websites and applications are accessible from the IPv6 home page, and the deeper links have not yet supported IPv6 access. For applications with concentrated traffic such as live broadcast and games, the core content supports less IPv6 access; second, most of the videos that account for a larger proportion of traffic are used on the fixed network, while most of the home network gateway do not support IPv6; third, the upgrading proportion of CDN and cloud platform is not high.

With the continuous development of 5g, cloud computing and Internet of things technology, the demand for network intelligence is also growing. At present, the contradiction between IPv6 network performance and application demand is still prominent. Therefore, the industry creatively puts forward “IPv6 +” based on IPv6, such as srv6, network slicing, flow detection, new multicast and application aware network. Feng Jie, general manager of cloud Network Development Department of China Telecom, proposes to promote the maturity of IPv6 single stack and srv6 technical standards and equipment, innovate application mode, and cooperate with the upstream and downstream of the industrial chain to increase the pilot and commercial scale.

From the interconnection of all things to the intelligent connection of all things, the connection has undergone fundamental changes. Only when the intelligent brain of all things and all walks of life can be connected with high quality at any time and anywhere, can the productivity of all walks of life be guaranteed to have a qualitative change. From quantitative change to qualitative change, from IPv6 to IPv6 +, based on the intelligent connection of all things, China can really enter the intelligent society.

Editor in charge: GT

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