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UNH-IOL Puts IPv6 to the Test
[August 09, 2007]

UNH-IOL Puts IPv6 to the Test

(Wireless News Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)
The University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL),
an independent proving ground for new technologies, recently completed
a series of multi-vendor tests that assessed how well basic enterprise
networking fares on Internet protocol version 6, the next incarnation
of the IP networking standard.

Using the Moonv6 network, 13 companies tested networking-intensive
office applications such as Adobe's Dreamweaver and Microsoft's
MeetingPlace over the new protocol. The testing also essayed many of
the essential components of basic enterprise networking, such as file
sharing, printing and security. Still to be put to trial is e-mail and
a greater variety of enterprise QoS and network management tools.

"Most issues were implementations, not the protocol, and this suggests
that for common system admins there will be something of a learning
curve in setting up for IPv6," said Erica Johnson, IPv6 consortium
manager at the UNH-IOL. "We've hit the core, but we've only scratched
the surface of IPv6 for enterprise IT systems. The Moonv6 network is up
24/7 and anyone with applications can connect to it. As we keep seeing,
there are always going to implementation hurdles, lessons learned,
proprietary applications and devices that don't support it yet, so the
more testing, the sooner, the better."

The list of participating companies included major enterprise IT
vendors such as Adobe, Alcatel-Lucent, Command Information,
Counterpath, Hewlett Packard, Hexago, Ixia, Juniper, Konica Minolta,
Microsoft and Xerox.

The university lab partnered with the Waterford Institute of Technology
in Ireland to extend the testing into less familiar territory. This
portion of the testing focused on an innovation not possible with
today's Internet called Site Multihoming by IPv6 Intermediation, or
SHIM6 for short. Of special interest in financial transactions, SHIM6
is an IPv6-only failover function that kicks in if one side of a link
goes down, automatically rerouting the connection without affecting the
download in progress.

IPv6 is the successor to the current IP infrastructure that underlies
data in today's Internet and enterprise networks. The new protocol
greatly enlarges the pool of IP addresses needed to network new
servers, laptops, phones, printers, etc. While some geographies have
already run out of IP addresses, it has been predicted that North
America will face IPv4 address space exhaustion between the years
2010-2012. IPv6's increased address space is expected to make better
use of emerging technology areas like VoIP, video and various
interactive multimedia applications as well.

Other benefits touted for IPv6 include simplified network architecture,
an increase in new services, and increased number of network nodes,
built-in security, and the ability to "plug and play" devices that are
IPv6 enabled. After first getting involved with the protocol in the
late 1990s, the UNH-IOL has been actively testing and debugging IPv6
devices on the Moonv6 network since 2003.

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Copyright 2007 Wireless News

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