Research team sets new record for IPv6 transmission

The Internet2 advanced networking consortium late last month said that a University of Tokyo-led research team used IPv6 to transmit data over Internet2 at a record-setting speed of 9.08 gigabits/sec, replacing earlier records held by the team.

The team used IPv6 and a modified version of TCP/IP Dec. 31 to achieve a sustained transmission speed of 9.08 gigabits/sec for single-stream and multistream traffic.
The team sent its traffic via an Internet2 link that crossed six separate networks spanning 20,500 miles, a distance greater than three-quarters of the Earth's circumference, participants said.

A day earlier, using standard TCP/IP, the team achieved a 7.67 gigabits/sec throughput using the same path. The experiment represents the highest transmission speed physically possible on today's state-of-the-art 10 gigabits/ sec networks, and the new IPv6 record surpasses the current IPv4 record, according to participants.

The achievement shows IPv6 performs as well as or better than IPv4 and is a significant milestone in demonstrating IPv6's strengths, said team leader and University of Tokyo professor Kei Hiraki.

'One of the biggest obstacles to the wide use of IPv6 is performance,' Hiraki said. 'Faster IPv6 [speeds] prove that IPv6 is usable for the backbone infrastructure of the Internet and data exchange.'

The experiment's real significance lies in proving that IPv6 can handle the advanced applications that today's state-of-the-art customers expect to deploy on the Internet in coming years, said Guy Almes, director of Texas A&M's Academy for Advanced Telecommunications and Learning Technology and a judge in the Internet2 land speed experiment.

'It's not just the speed, it's achieving a sustained bit rate across great distances,' Almes said, which demonstrates IPv6 and the Internet2 can be used to reliably move massive amounts of data around the world.

IPv6's advantages over IPv4 are the increase in the number of possible IP addresses it provides and greater applications flexibility, not higher performance, Almes said. As a result, demonstrations such as Internet2's IPv6 speed experiment are helpful in showing 'that those advantages don't come at the price of reduced performance,' he said.

The previous record, set in February 2006, achieved a throughput of 8.80 gigabits/sec across 20,500 miles using IPv4.

An Internet2 land speed record is calculated by multiplying the rate data is transferred by the distance that data travels.

About the Authors

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.


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