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Performance Modeling and Analysis of IPv6 Transition Mechanisms over MPLS Open Access

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Exhaustion of current version of Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) addresses initiated development of next-generation Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) [82, 83]. IPv6 is acknowledged to provide more address space, better address design, and greater security; however, IPv6 and IPv4 are not fully compatible. For the two protocols to coexist, various IPv6 transition mechanisms have been developed [47, 82, 83]. This research will analyze a series of IPv6 transition mechanisms over the Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) backbone using a simulation tool (OPNET) and will evaluate and compare their performances. The analysis will include comparing the end-to-end delay, jitter, and throughput performance metrics using tunneling mechanisms, specifically, Manual Tunnel, Generic Routing Encapsulation (GRE) Tunnel, Automatic IPv4-Compatible Tunnel, and 6to4 Tunnel between Customer Edge (CE)-to-CE routers and between Provider Edge (PE)-to-PE routers [82, 83]. The results are then compared against 6PE, Native IPv6, and Dual Stack, all using the MPLS backbone. The traffic generated for this comparison are database access, email, File Transfer, File Print, Telnet, Video Conferencing over IP, Voice over IP, Web Browsing, and Remote Login. A statistical analysis is performed to compare the performance metrics of these mechanisms to evaluate any statistically-significant differences among them [82, 83]. The main objective of this research is to rank the aforementioned IPv6 transition mechanisms and identify the superior mechanism that offer lowest delay, lowest jitter, and highest throughput.This study will be critical for those who want to implement IPv6 and are concerned about the performance of the transition mechanisms. Given the acquisition cost, schedule, risk, and technical challenges in supporting IPv6, this analysis will provide increased confidence to make informed decisions and choose the appropriate IPv6 transition mechanism depending on the required performance [82].

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