IPv6 tactical network management
Dobrydney, John F.
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Current and emerging technologies and equipment, such as unmanned aerial vehicles, ground sensors, networked radios, operator-worn sensor vests, and nanotechnology applications offer warfighters unprecedented command and control and information detection capabilities, yet the use of this technology has not been fully realized. The current protocol, IPv4, is incapable of providing enough addresses due to a depletion of IPv4 address space. IPv6, however, offers unprecedented network support for tactical-level sensor and communications assets in terms of increased address space, Quality of Service (QoS), flexibility, and security. The Department of Defense is transitioning from IPv4 to IPv6 in order to capitalize on IPv6's expanded capabilities. However, one unresolved area is proper IPv6 network management. Currently, the majority of the configuration and operational knowledge is in the mind of a very few individuals. The expertise currently available must be developed for application by the tactical network manager operating out on the edge of the network, in order to properly administer both an IPv4/IPv6 dual stacked network during the phased protocol transition and a purely native IPv6 network. Second, IPv6 features a robust Quality of Service (QoS) capability previously unavailable through IPv4, which requires research to determine the optimum configuration to support the warfighter's diverse requirements.
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