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IPv6 Research and Deployment at the University of Southampton

IPv6 research and deployment at the University of Southampton takes part within the School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS). The School has eight research groups; the Pervasive Computing and Networks theme (PCaN) within the Intelligence, Agents, Multimedia group (IAM) is the focus of our IPv6 activity, though the implications of IPv6 are now being considered in a wide number of projects.

The School was rated 5* (the top grade) for both electronics and computer science by the government's last Research Assessment Exercise, a unique achievement for a department of our type.

We have been running IPv6 on site since 1996, and obtained a native X.21 IPv6 link from Southampton to UUNet at Telehouse London (some 100km away) in early July 1997. This may have been the first wide area native IPv6 link in the UK. While this link still exists, we have now established many others through new projects since our early work.

The major IPv6 projects that we are currently participating in are 6NET, where we lead the work package on IPv6 transition and integration, and Euro6IX, where we are currently trialling IPv6 SSM multicast routing and applications. Both projects run until December 2004, command a budget of the order of 15M Euros, and have over 1,000 man months of effort dedicated to them. These are the European Commission's flagship IPv6 projects.

In the past, we were also involved in a number of other IPv6 projects and activities, including the Bermuda 2 UK academic IPv6 trial project, and the 6INIT and 6WINIT European IST 5th Framework projects.

More recently, we are a partner on the EU IPv6 Task Force (which has produced recommendations for IPv6 deployment in Europe), and a new IST concertation project called 6LINK, for which we host and maintain the IPv6 Cluster web site. We also chair the IPv6 Working Group within GÉANT's TF-NGN group thanks to sponsorship from JANET.

Southampton is a founding member of the IPv6 Forum, and sits on the IPv6 Technical Directorate. We are active with contributions to the IETF standards community for IPv6. We are also a founding member of the UK IPv6 Task Force.

We are very grateful for donations of equipment from a number of sources that have been invaluable over the years, including UUNet UK, Hitachi, Cisco, Compaq/DEC, 3Com and Bay Networks, as well as to those bodies who have funded our work. Naturally we are always receptive to new proposals for collaborative work on IPv6.

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