I recently attended a conference in Japan where the attendee network offered IPv6 service only. In the past, conferences such as the Asia Pacific Regional Conference on Operational Technologies (APRICOT) and meetings of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) have conducted IPv6 experiments, but these have all been "opt-in" events. The conference in Japan was different: there was no IPv4 service available. Making this work involved a few manual configuration steps, but for the most part everything worked more or less the same as it did under IPv4. Some applications, including my instant message client and Skype did not work, and all connections to IPv4-only hosts needed to use Fully Qualified Domain Names (FQDNs) instead of IP addresses, but overall the experience gave me confidence that IPv6 is becoming a reality. As you might expect, this IPv6-only experiment also uncovered a number of bugs and incompatibilities that were duly reported to developers around the world.
Our first article is an overview of TRansparent Interconnection of Lots of Links (TRILL). TRILL uses Layer 3 routing techniques to create a large cloud of links that appear to IP nodes to be a single IP subnet. The protocol has been developed in the IETF and is currently being refined and enhanced in the TRILL working group. The article is by Radia Perlman and Donald Eastlake.
Developments in Internet technologies have lead to changes that go beyond the Internet itself. Not only is Voice over IP (VoIP) often used in place of traditional circuit-switched telephony, the telecommunication networks themselves are evolving to incorporate IP routers in place of traditional telephone switches. This evolution also applies to cellular telephone networks, specifically to what is known as backhaul—the transportation of voice and data from the cell sites to the mobile operators' core networks. Jeff Loughridge explains more in "The Case for IP Backhaul."
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