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Collection: China Telecom's large-scale IPv6+ deployment and service practices

By China Telecom Group Co., Ltd. wuzhenwic.org Updated: 2021-11-12

China Telecom has been promoting the technological innovation and commercial deployment of IPv6 for a long time. It has carried out profound transformation in network infrastructure, application infrastructure, and self-operated applications and has entered the IPv4/IPv6 dual-stack operation stage. SRv6 technology is an essential technological innovation in the industry in recent years. Compared with the traditional technologies, SRv6 substantially simplifies the network protocol and network element functions and provides more flexible, customized, and open services. It is an essential part of the next generation of IPv6+ technology.

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China Telecom believes that SRv6 is an excellent historical opportunity for complete migration from IPv4 to IPv6+. First, it carried out IPv6 single-stack tests based on NAT64/DNS64 on the 5G SA network, independently solving many deployment problems during the operation. At the same time, aiming for large-scale commercialization, it has been working with industrial partners to rapidly promote the maturity of SRv6 key standards and the equipment interworking, leading to the formulation of crucial technology standards for large-scale SRv6 operation and forming multiple de facto standards. In 2020, the whole network equipment upgradation and SRv6 function deployment were completed, covering 31 provinces and province-level municipalities in China. It is the first to realize SRv6 cross-vendor interoperability and commercially deploy it in IP backbone and STN networks on a large scale, becoming the largest end-to-end SRv6 commercial network globally.

Based on the programmable network ability provided by SRv6, China Telecom has explored differentiated solutions in service isolation, network-slicing, and end-to-end low-delay path, which support 5G dedicated lines, YunDi, Tianyi Cloud, and other services.

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Technical solutions are as follows:

1. China Telecom has been promoting SRv6 technology maturity and large-scale commercialization. 

While there are still disputes over international standards, it quickly formulated the SRv6 Locator coding standard, which unified the SRv6 networking mode and the cross-domain docking strategy. It has carried out joint research with Chinese enterprises and established the STN technical system and standards of 5G bearer + cloud network convergence with SRv6 as the core protocol. China Telecom has solved the collaborative networking problem of SRv6 and MPLS in the 5G bearer network and significantly extended the life cycle of existing equipment, effectively protecting the investment.

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2. China Telecom has actively used the programmability provided by SRv6 to optimize the service deployment process of Tianyi Cloud, security, enterprise, and other service scenarios, which significantly fixed the deployment and maintenance problems caused by the multi-segment splicing of the existing IP network and provides demonstrable experience for the agile transformation and service-oriented evolution based on IPv6+ of the global infrastructure networks.

1) SRv6 technology is combined with physical network architecture optimization to construct low end-to-end latency network slices. The related technology has been applied in Inner Mongolia and Guizhou Cloud Computing Base of China Telecom.

2) Based on SRv6+EVPN technology, the service level slicing has been deployed on ChinaNet, supporting VPN service with SRv6 BSID. It provides low latency and security isolation network service for ChinaNet's YunDi services.

3) Based on the cross-domain capability of SRv6 technology, ChinaNet has docked with the cloud resource pool and realized one-hop accessing to the cloud and on-demand visualization.

3. In 2020, China Telecom had successfully carried out the IPv6 single-stack test based on NAT64/DNS64 on the 5G SA network, verified the overall technical scheme of IPv6 single-stack deployment, and realized IPv6 single-stack access of mobile users in the network.

By upgrading the NAT44 firewall and the DNS equipment of the existing network, it has supported NAT64 and DNS64 and verified the function and performance of NAT64 of firewall devices.

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China Telecom has completed the world's largest SRv6 commercial deployment in the network. In 2020, it basically completed the upgradation of ChinaNet backbone network to support SRv6, which covers 31 provinces and province-level municipalities of China. SRv6 technology is fully deployed in the new STN network, whose basic network protocol is simplified from more than 10 protocols to 2 protocols. The core layer adopts IPv6 Native forwarding, which is extremely simple to cross domains and get one-hop access to the cloud. 5G and cloud network service traffic borne by IPv6 has reached Tb level, ranking first in the world. There are nearly 40,000 IPv6+ devices in the whole network, the largest scale in the world. The end-to-end low latency path constructed by SRv6 can reduce latency by 33 percent at the maximum. YunDi security products deployed based on reinjection capacity of SRv6 have be deployed in more than 12 provinces. The IPv6+ network has the ability of business agile distribution, service head-end configuration, one-click activation, and minute-level deployment. It has realized 50ms protection capability for 5G service and cloud-network connection service. The end-to-end IPv6 single-stack scheme technical verification and the small-scale user-experience test have been carried out in Jiangsu Province and Sichuan Province networks.

China Telecom has obtained 7 authorized patents in the deployment of IPv6+ technology, covering network path customization, hybrid networking, network intelligent configuration and reliability improvement. It has published 3 papers, describing the technical architecture based on SRv6+EVPN, the construction and operation of large-scale slicing system, and the application of IPv6+ in co-construction and sharing. It has become the world's leading operator in IPv6+ technology scale deployment and scenario innovation.

 


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