KAME Project Manifest for Completion
R&D for IPv6:The new stage focused on Operations and Applications

WIDE Project
Representative: Jun Murai

The KAME Project (Representative: Prof. Jun Murai, Keio University) launched in 1998 concentrating on the research and development of IPv6 technologies, has succeeded in the global standardization of the basic specifications and in establishing the framework required for commercial marketing of IPv6 technologies. Having achieved its initial objectives, the WIDE Project has called a stop to the activities of the KAME Project and will now focus on strategic research and development activities to further enhance IPv6 technologies and development applications for new areas.

The KAME Project, a joint industry and academia research initiative launched in April 1998, has formed the essence of the WIDE Project’s research and development activities into IPv6 technologies. The KAME Project was established with the aim of incorporating BSD UNIX reference software (Note 1) into the next generation Internet, assuming a similar role as that of the CSRG (Computer Systems Research Group) of the University of California, Berkeley in incorporating and leading to its wide adoption in the global Internet. The KAME Project conducted research and development of IPv6 protocol stacks (Note 2) on BSD UNIX and has actively participated in the activities of the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force), an organization concerned with the global standardization of Internet technologies.

The reference software developed by the KAME Project for IPv6 protocol stacks for BSD UNIX has been released as open software and as a result has come to be widely used by academic communities both inside and outside of Japan and industrial circles. Numerous R&D organizations and corporations are also using it as a shared software base, making possible the research and development of network and computing equipment. This has resulted in; (1) increased efficiency in R&D activities as it is no longer necessary to research and develop identical protocol stacks separately, (2) enhanced interconnectivity and, (3) as the source codes have been released, has contributed to the efficient nurturing of software engineers for which it has gained global accolades.

At present, with the completion of global standardization of the basic IPv6 specifications by the IETF, (Note 3) implementation projects are underway including one by the government of the United States to incorporate IPv6 into the government network by June 2008 and the CNGI (China Nest Generation Internet) project in China, IPV6 technologies have entered into the phases of practical use on an international level. The KAME Project, in recognition of the significant contribution it has made in increasing the efficiency of research and development of IPv6-based computer equipment networks and its wide spread deployment was awarded with a group award from the Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications in 2002.

Having achieved its objectives, the WIDE Project has concluded the activities of the KAME Project and is now concentrating on the strategic repositioning of the project members to focus on strategic research and development activities to further enhance IPv6 technologies and development applications for new areas. A particular focus is to be placed on practical and integrated research and development into network architecture, operating systems and middle ware and applications for areas including mobile ad hoc networking, sensor networking and architecture for end user security to contribute towards the development of further enhanced and advanced IPv6 technologies.

(Note 1) BSD UNIX and Reference Software
BSD UNIX is a multi-user, multi-task or in other words “UNIX” computer operating system (OS) developed by the CSRG (Computer Systems Research Group) of the University of California, Berkeley. It incorporates TCP/IP protocol stacks*, data transmission protocol that is widely used on the Internet today. This software is widely released as open software and was widely shared and used as an industry standard (de facto standard) in the construction of and research and development activities into computer networks (the Internet) that ran off UNIX. This de facto standard software is known as “Reference Software”.

(Note 2) Protocol Stack
Network software created to implement a specific protocol (protocol that allows the exchange of data between two software modules)

(Note 3) Basic IPv6 specifications were issued in RFC1883 in 1995 and became the global standard.

  1. WIDE Project: http://www.wide.ad.jp/
    WIDE, (Widely Integrated Distributed Environment) established in 1988 is a joint industry, government and academia research consortium that promotes the research and development of Internet technologies. Over 100 corporations and 40 universities are currently involved in the WIDE Project, partaking in a wide array of research and development activities concerning the next generation Internet technologies.
  2. KAME Project: http://www.kame.net/
    The KAME Project is a joint industry and academia research project launched in April 1998 by 13 organizations including the WIDE Project, (Representative: Prof. Jun Murai, Keio University), Internet Initiative Japan, Yokogawa Electric Corporation, Hitachi and the University of Tokyo in order to promote the deployment of the next generation Internet protocol, IPv6 (IP version 6). The projects research and development activities have been undertaken primarily by researches from the following organizations.

    ALAXALA Networks Corporation (http://www.alaxala.com/)
    Fujitsu Limited (http://jp.fujitsu.com/)
    Hitachi, Ltd. (http://www.hitachi.co.jp/)
    Internet Initiative Japan Inc. (http://www.iij.ad.jp/)
    Keio University (http://www.keio.ac.jp/index-en.html)
    NEC Corporation (http://www.nec.co.jp/)
    The University of Tokyo (http://www.u-tokyo.ac.jp/)
    Toshiba Corporation (http://www.toshiba.co.jp/)
    Yokogawa Electric Corporation (http://www.yokogawa.co.jp/)
  3. IPv6 Technologies
    IPv6, the generic technologies of the next generation Internet will not only resolve the problem of address shortages currently experienced on IPv4 but will also provide the necessary features of an information platform to sustain our lifestyles and industrial activities.
  4. IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force): http://www.ietf.org/

Appraisals proffered in line with the achievements of the KAME Project

■ Dr. Vinton G. Cerf :
Co-developer of the computer networking protocol, TCP/IP and also known as father of the Internet.
Chief Internet Evangelist, Google/Regus

Today's Internet was established using IP version 4, which resulted from the work of many engineers in the mid-1970s. I had the privilege of leading this project during my time at Stanford University and at the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. I have always recognized and appreciated the KAME project, led by Jun Murai, that has contributed strongly to the deployment and improvement of the Internet. IP version 6 is the next generation core networking protocol, that has been standardized by IETF. All of us recognize that the IP version 6 specification has long been stable and is now ready for business deployment. Jun Murai and his KAME project have made great contributions to the development, establishment and deployment of IP version 6 technology. I am looking forward very much to further technical and social contributions to the Internet community, beyond IP version 6, by the KAME project, by Jun Murai and by the WIDE project.

■ Mr. Bill Joy (William N. Joy) :
Developer of BSD UNIX and JAVA and Co-founder of Sun Microsystems
co-Founder and former Chief Scientist, Sun Microsystems Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caulfield Byers a California-based Venture Capital Firm

While at Berkeley many years ago, I wrote the TCP/IP implementation for BSD, distributing version 4 of IP, the first widely available version, in source form, thus seeding the spread of the Internet.

In the same way, the WIDE project's KAME effort has developed and spread implementations of the new version 6 of the IP protocol. As IPv6 becomes widespread I hope KAME's contribution to this important new protocol is widely appreciated.

■ Mr. Fred Baker :
Co-founder of Cisco Systems and former Chairman of the IETF (1996-2001)

In the early 1990s, Frank Solensky and others realized that the initial design of IPv4 addressing was resulting in a fast and inefficient deployment of the IPv4 address space, and that with the commercialization of the Internet that resource would be soon exhausted. A number of efforts were started simultaneously to address that issue; these included, in the very near term, recovery of some of the allocated-but-unused address space, development of private address space and address translation, and a project to create a next generation Internet Protocol. The outcome of that last was IPv6.

We knew, of course, that IPv6 deployment would take a long time – we talked about the protocol development and deployment taking a decade. What we didn't take into account was the rapid fossilization of the Internet into IPv4 - with each step that we took deeper into commercial service, it became harder to convince people to deploy something simply because it was a step forward. We had to come to a real problem and demonstrably have a real solution to it, not just have something that would avoid future problems and maximize our ability to deploy new applications.

There is a story told about an automobile mechanic having a conversation with a heart surgeon. He comments that "you and I seem to have similar jobs: I can observe the problems that the engine is having, replace or repair various parts, and close it back up again.
Tell me, doctor: why is it that I get paid what I am paid, and they pay you what they pay you?" The Doctor replies: "trying fixing it while the engine is running." What we had to learn was how to repair the Internet "with the engine running", which is a challenging proposition.

Doing that, of course, required extensive proof of concept, new applications that demonstrated the value of IPv6-based applications, a reference implementation that undeniably worked well, and also vision and leadership. The KAME Project provided much of that, both in the products and research experiments and in the personal leadership of Dr.Jun Murai. It served as the basis for some commercial products, and for others demonstrated what could be done if applications were unshackled from a wired-network client/server architecture. I am not certain that we could have deployed IPv6 in today's Internet without the leadership and the technology developed in KAME.

■ Dr. Brian E. Carpenter : Chairman of the IETF

The KAME project has been a very significant contribution to the spread of IPv6, in many ways, but in particular by directly supporting the "running code" aspect of the IETF standards process.
It is yet another major contribution to the development of the Internet made by the WIDE project.