IPv6 profiles for public administration

Jan. 01, 2014


The current Internet protocol version 4 (IPv4) is the most important technical foundation of the Internet. IPv4 uses 32 bit addresses and is therefore limited to four billion unique IP addresses. The rapid growth and the connection of more and more devices to the Internet (e.g. TVs, Smartphones, sensors etc.) have led to a shortage of addresses and have made the migration from IPv4 to the successor protocol IPv6 inevitable.

There is still little practical experience in Europe on the widespread introduction and operation of the new Internet protocol. The use of IPv6 in the federal, state and municipal IT standard architectures is not yet well defined. The particularly public administration often uses components (hardware and software) whose full compatibility with the IPv6 protocol has in many cases not yet been determined. This is most often caused by the different maturity levels with which IPv6 has been implemented in a variety of products.

Project Objectives

Fraunhofer FOKUS, as an expert in “one-stop government”, and BearingPoint were commissioned by the German Federal Office of Administration (BVA) to carry out the research project “IPv6 profiles” for public administrations under the supervision of the BVA.

The project objectives include the definition of profiles for device classes, the assessment of migration strategies for IPv6 and the documentation thereof. This project presents a significant contribution to the future-proof migration of the German network infrastructures to IPv6. It has been carried out in close collaboration with the German Federal Ministry of the Interior. The experience gained in the course of this project will be incorporated into IPv6-related projects started by the EU commission and will be further supplemented.

Taking current developments into account, a technical criteria catalog, as well as IPv6 profiles for the public administration, will be developed. The results are recommendations for the introduction and provisioning of IPv6-compliant components. Complex migration scenarios are re-enacted in the network and eGovernment laboratories of Fraunhofer FOKUS in order to define, test and document migration steps from an IPv4-only infrastructure to an IPv4/IPv6 dual stack infrastructure. Therewith, practical knowledge about the migration, the necessary steps and the expected complexity will be documented. In parallel, a realistic assessment of the IPv6 functionality within the IT infrastructure and for the used software components can be achieved.

About the German Federal Office of Administration

The German Federal Office of Administration (BVA) is the central service provider of the federal administration. It was established as an independent higher federal authority by the German Federal Ministry of the Interior. With about 2,400 employees it performs various functions and works for the German Federal President, the German Federal Chancellor and all federal ministries with administrative work that needs to be carried out, bundled and performed effectively. With its comprehensive service and product portfolio, the German Federal Agency for Information Technology (BIT) of the German Federal Office of Administration provides support in various IT tasks. On 01.12.2009, the council of the IT officers of the German Federal Government appointed the BIT as one of the first federal IT service centers (DLZ-IT).

About Fraunhofer FOKUS

Fraunhofer FOKUS, the Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems develops and researches communication and information technologies at its facility in Berlin. The focal point of research activities includes the development of IT infrastructures and networks for communication across domains and organizations. With more than 20 years of experience, Fraunhofer FOKUS is one of the most important IT research partners for telecommunications, automotive and media industries as well as for governmental administration. On a scientific level, Fraunhofer FOKUS is known as a well-respected co-operation partner in research programs of the European Commission as well as of national funding bodies.

About BearingPoint

BearingPoint advises companies and organizations in the areas of commercial, financial and public services in order to find solutions for their most urgent and most important tasks. In close collaboration with the client, BearingPoint consultants define ambitious goals and develop solutions, processes and systems along the entire value chain. Since the takeover by its partner in line with a management buy-out, BearingPoint is an independent business consultancy that uniquely combines entrepreneurship with management and technology competency. With European roots, the company operates globally and has about 3,200 employees in 15 countries.