During the last two decades we have seen the rapid spread of computer networks, especially the Internet. This popularity has surprised even the founders of the Internet: the limitations of the architecture and the used protocols were seen in the early 1990s. The two main issues are the exhaustion of IPv4 address space and the quick growth of routing tables in the core routers.
IPv6 is the next version of the widely used Internet Protocol which addresses the challenges raised by the worldwide adoption on interconnected computer networks: provides a larger address space and a more compact core routing table solution. Networking professionals and researchers have been working for years to develop a network protocol that satisfies the requirements for various forms of data communications traversing the global Internet.
There is no doubt that the migration to IPv6 will be a long lasting process: some studies state that IPv4 and IPv6 will co-exist for the next 20 years. This migration will probably affect many aspects of Information Technology: servers, PCs, laptops, mobile devices, embedded systems, etc. will be affected; there will be probably a lot of them that could not be migrated to IPv6. Several transition methods were developed to provide smooth migration to the new protocol: of course each method has its advantages and drawbacks as well.
My goal was to obtain knowledge of IPv6 protocol and the various IPv4-IPv6 transition mechanisms in Cisco networking environments.
In my thesis I provide a thorough overview of the IPv6 transition mechanisms and show how these transition methods can be implemented with Cisco networking devices. My thesis is organized in the following way: the first chapter is an introduction of IPv6; the second chapter is literature overview about the various topics of IPv4-IPv6 coexistence and migration. The following parts contain the documentation of the technical work I have done: chapter three is about design, chapter four documents the implementation details of the test environments; chapter five contains the analysis and review of the test results. The last chapter provides a short summary about the results, experiences and possible future developments.