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I2-NEWS: NCNI Establishes One of the Fastest Native IPv6 Backbones in the World

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  • From: "Greg Wood" <>
  • To: <>
  • Subject: I2-NEWS: NCNI Establishes One of the Fastest Native IPv6 Backbones in the World
  • Date: Tue, 23 May 2000 10:23:04 -0400
  • Importance: Normal

NCNI Establishes One of the Fastest Native IPv6 Backbones in the World

May 22, 2000 - Research Triangle Park, North Carolina - It is a very
exciting time for network engineers and researchers involved in the North
Carolina Networking Initiative. NCNI is well on its way to establishing
itself as the newest native IPv6 (or Internet Protocol Version 6) backbone
of the Southeast. It is the first step in NCNI's plans to create the first
high-speed, high performance IPv6 (or simply v6) network in the world. The
v6 protocol is running on one of the four lambdas on Nortel's OPTera(tm)
DWDM (Dense Wave Division Multiplexing) equipment at 1.25 Gigabits per

The North Carolina Networking Initiative is a collaborative effort of Duke
University, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, North Carolina State
University, MCNC, and high technology industries. NCNI seeks to advance the
exploration and development of leading-edge network technologies,
engineering, and applications through advanced network services and early
deployment of technologies.

IPv6 is the next-generation protocol, designed by the IETF (Internet
Engineering Task Force) to replace the current version of the Internet
protocol, which is now nearly twenty years old. IPv6 is now heavily utilized
outside the US and fixes a number of problems in IPv4, such as the limited
number of available IPv4 addresses, which are needed by all machines added
to the Internet. It also adds many improvements to IPv4 in areas such as
routing and network autoconfiguration.

To ensure the full functionality of IPv6 on the NCNI network, networking
engineers are running the protocol on the network natively, that is, without
tunneling or encapsulating the v6 packets within v4 packets.

Alan Blatecky, Vice President of Information Technology at MCNC and
Executive Director of NCNI stated, "IPv6 will become the dominant protocol
driving the Internet over the next several years, and will enable the
Internet to accommodate the continued growth both in terms of numbers and
capabilities. Because of our infrastructure and resources, NCNI will be
able to establish an extremely high speed v6 network which will run along
side the existing v4 networks and give the v6 research community access to a
unique resource."

Currently, NCNI runs a Cisco 3640 running the 12.0 Thanksgiving release of
IOS with IPv6 support. This router has visibility to both the commodity
Internet and Internet2. NCNI is in the process of placing native v6 traffic
across its SONET ring to enable v6 connectivity for SONET-attached sites.
NCNI peers with Cisco, Bay, MERIT, vBNS, 3COM, and Sprint. Additionally,
the organization has private peering agreements with Duke University and
Purdue University. Of these eight peers, NCNI has BGP4+ sessions with
Cisco, MERIT, 3COM, Sprint, vBNS, Duke and Purdue, and communicates with
Bay through RIPng.

NCNI expects to have another upstream provider, MCIWorldcom, in the very
near future. NCNI is also pursuing peering relationships with NTT US and
Abilene. Combined, NCNI anticipates having ten peers by mid-summer 2000.
As a result of NCNI's size and demand for address space, they are also in
the process of applying for a Sub-Top Level Aggregate (sTLA) address prefix.

The NCNI network currently operates Wave Division Multiplexing (WDM) at
speeds up to 2.5Gigabits per second, a Nortel OC-48 (also 2.5Gbps) SONET
system which can supply OC3 and OC12 circuits to four sites, ATM service at
speeds up to 622Mbps, and IP service based on the Spatial Reuse Protocol
(SRP) at 2.5 gigabits per second. NCNI also operates the North Carolina
Research and Education Network (NCREN), the NC GigaPop, and the NC Internet2
Technology Evaluation Center (ITEC).

NCNI will offer test aggregate addresses to any organization of the North
Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN) by the end of this month.
Implementation of production-level service is expected in August 2000.

Some of the research areas in which NCNI plans to deploy new v6 applications
include multicast, anycast and layer-4 switching.

For more information, contact:
Alan Blatecky
Executive Director, NCNI
(919) 248-1149

  • I2-NEWS: NCNI Establishes One of the Fastest Native IPv6 Backbones in the World, Greg Wood, 05/23/2000

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