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LONG - Laboratories over Next Generation Networks

LONG (IST-1999-20393) is an European project funded by the IST programme LONG. It aims to foresee and solve problems related to the design, configuration and deployment of Next Generation Telecommunication networks specially when new services and applications are carried out across them. The new version of the IP protocol, IPv6, will become an integral part of these Next Generation networks. In addition to this, the proliferation of new high bandwidth and asymmetric access technologies, like ADSL and CATV, will also shape the network design of these Next Generation Networks.

On the other side, applications must be aware of the advanced services provided by the networks and protocols, and must take into account the impact of the underlying network. LONG aims at gaining an in-depth knowledge in the design and deployment of IPv4/IPv6 transition scenarios, as well as in the operational inter-working when heterogeneous access (ADSL, CATV, ISDN) and transport (IP/ATM, IP/SDH, IP/WDM) technologies are in place. The integration of IPv6 with advanced network services, such as multi-homing will be validated in LONG.

On the other hand, LONG focuses on extending the framework of applications, so that they benefit from the services provided by these Next Generation networks.

In order to achieve these goals, LONG faces the following objectives:

  • To deploy a Next Generation testbed.

  • To adap and validate a representative set of applications to the Next Generation Network scenarios.

  • To perform trials and experiments.

  • To develop guidelines for migration of networks and applications and disseminate results.

Technical Approach

The LONG objectives will be fulfilled by a set of distinct Workpackages.

Network Design and Deployment will ensure that a high performance testbed is in place. The testbed will connect the partners using the pan European research network infrastructure and will incorporate IPv4/IPv6 migration scenarios and advanced services like QoS, multi-homing, multicast, mobility or security. LONG will identify and select the mechanisms to provide these scenarios and services. The incorporation of a mixture of different access (ADSL, CATV, ISDN) and transport technologies (IP/ATM, IP/SDH, IP/WDM) will be one of the design goals. Collaborative Work Environment will adapt and validate representative applications to the next generation network scenarios, e.g. ISABEL, standard services, MBONE applications, etc. The interoperability with the IPv4 versions will be preserved.
International Connectivity of LONG platform Prior to the adaptation, the network and service requirements for the Next Generation applications will be established. System Exploitation, Trials and Evaluation will perform trials and experiments over the platform deployed making use of the adapted applications. These trials will help to fine tune the design and to elaborate recommendations. These recommendations will be produced in the corresponding Work Packages taking as input the trials and experiments performed.

LONG will produce recommendations related to: IPv4/IPv6 transition, IPv6 and advanced services integration, the inter-working of heterogeneous access scenarios and the adaptation of applications to the Next Generation networks. The dissemination of results will be made in the relevant fora by the Dissemination and Implementation workpackage. The Project Management will guarantee the correct progress of the work.
The project plans to co-ordinate and exchange experience and results with other relevant projects in the area. Candidates are 6INIT, ARMSTRONG and GCAP.

Key issues

IPv6 is being seriously considered as a real fact for Next Generation Networks, which are going to be developed. It includes some new advanced mechanisms such as autoconfiguration, security, QoS, better multicast support and mobility. The main point is that every IPv6 node has these mechanisms ready to activate by default, so that developing such services will be easier and more cost effective since no additional software needs to be installed in any node.

The transition from IPv4 to IPv6 involves a period in which some mechanisms are needed to guarantee the connectivity among IPv4/IPv6 clients and IPv4/IPv6 servers throughout IPv4/IPv6 networks. The IPv4-IPv6 Transition mechanisms are being defined and developed to guarantee the interaction of IPv4 and IPv6 nodes and networks.

LONG aims at studying and testing all these key issues. Since all participants have some know-how and experience with IPv6 and some of them have experience with Transition Mechanisms the first step is setting up an IPv6 platform where the main mechanisms will be studied. Also the new advanced IPv6 network services will be studied and tested, especially QoS and multicast. The IPv4-IPv6 migration of applications is planned at two levels:

  • To adapt a set of applications from IPv4 to IPv6.

  • To really migrate/deploy applications to use the advanced services provided by the IPv6 stack.

One of the applications, which are going to be migrated to IPv6, is ISABEL ( which is a tele-conference and tele-meeting application which has been successfully used with IPv4. The idea is not only to adapt the application but study how these real time applications can be improved with the advanced IPv6 properties.

Once ISABEL is migrated to IPv6, LONG participants expect not only to do internal project tests and tele-meetings but also to distribute public events to some sites not participating in the LONG project (from other IST project members for instance).


Telefónica Investigación y Desarrollo S.A. Unipersonal
Nortel Networks
Portugal Telecom Inovasao, S.A.
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya
Universidade de Evora