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Facilitating always-on instrumentation of Internet traffic for the purposes of performance measurement is crucial in order to enable accountability of resource usage and automated network control, management and optimisation. This has proven infeasible to date due to the lack of native measurement mechanisms that can form an integral part of the network's main forwarding operation. However, Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) specification enables the efficient encoding and processing of optional per-packet information as a native part of the network layer, and this constitutes a strong reason for IPv6 to be adopted as the ubiquitous next generation Internet transport.
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