ETSI ISG IPE releases the latest IPv6 Enhanced innovation Report

Sophia Antipolis, 9 June 2022

Facilitating IPv6-based Network-Cloud Convergence

ETSI has just published a new Group Report (GR), ETSI GR IPE 002, entitled “IPv6 based Data Centres, Network and Cloud Integration”“IPv6 based Data Centres, Network and Cloud Integration”. Developed by the ETSI IPv6 enhanced group (ISG IPE), this Report comprehensively illustrates Network-Cloud convergence architecture and the requirements to the underlying network. In addition, it highlights the role of IPv6 and its enhanced features in Network-Cloud convergence.

The architectural transition to Network-Cloud convergence is mainly driven by the rapid development of Cloud and data centres. As more and more enterprises put their applications and data assets into Cloud, Cloud is becoming the centre of the infrastructure, and is creating the need for the network to be built around the Cloud. This GR identifies several typical use cases of Network-Cloud convergence, including virtual private clouds, enterprise site to DCs, inter-connection of Clouds, Data Centre network, and telecom cloud network. For each use case, the advantages of IPv6 are illustrated from multiple dimensions, including a larger address space and more advanced features compared to IPv4, such as Segment Routing over IPv6 (SRv6).

Meanwhile, Cloud computing has also pushed forward the transformation of traditional networks. With SDN/NFV as the basic architecture, operators can build a simple, automatic, and intelligent network based on Cloud, namely cloudified network, so the network can quickly and flexibly adjust resources for service innovation. Compared with traditional IT systems, cloudified network services pose stricter requirements to the underlying Cloud infrastructure, in terms of real-time, large capacity, high security, and reliability.

As a new generation of network protocol, IPv6 can provide an end-to-end transmission and network programmability for the services of customers and traffic scheduling. It should be considered as the optimum network technology for the ongoing Network-Cloud convergence. Network-Cloud convergence will not be realized overnight, it will take a long time. For any given operator, the degree and pace of Network-Cloud convergence may depend on its network architecture, market policy and business strategy.

Like Network-Cloud convergence itself, this Group Report is just a starting point, however ISG IPE also hopes that it can play a constructive role in promoting the progress of information infrastructure.