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July 08, 2010

The Challenges of IPV6 Deployment: Testing IP Services Report

By Marisa Torrieri, TMCnet Editor

Though migration to IPv6 is still just a pipe dream for certain carriers, it won't be long before IPv4 addresses run out and the need for interoperability between IPv4 and IPv6 environments is necessary.
And that's just one of the challenges of deploying next-generation IPv6 technology, Kowsik Guruswamy, co-founder and CTO for Mu Dynamics (News - Alert), which makes software for testing IP services, recently revealed to TMCnet.
"The IPv6 transition adds yet another dimension of complexity to already overburdened carriers who are focusing on new device categories such as tablet PCs while updating and maintaining their current networks," Guruswamy told TMCnet.  
According to Guruswamy, the three pain points carriers will need to address for a clean transition are as follows:

1. Functionality Migration: "A mistake carriers can easily make is making the assumption that underlying network infrastructure supporting IPv6 is sufficient," Guruswamy said. "It isn't. Any applications containing IP addresses, such as SIP, will require IPv6 support."

2. Regression/Interoperability: "All applications and services will need to be tested for interoperability between IPv4 and IPv6 and will need to work flawlessly over both," he noted.

3. Security/Resilience: "New development efforts to support IPv6 mean new opportunities for exploits and attacks,' Guruswamy observes. "How do you ensure that all the old v4-based attacks get properly detected and handled when they come in over IPv6? Tunneling schemes from IPv6 to IPv4 are also a realistic concern."

What are some of the ways carriers and partners are working to meet these challenges?

How can they do a better job? Stay tuned for Part 3 of the series.
This is part two of an ongoing series on IPv6 challenges and solutions, which will be featured biweekly on TMCnet's "Testing IP Services" channel. Be sure to check out part one for more on IPv6.

Marisa Torrieri is a TMCnet Web editor, covering IP hardware and mobility, including IP phones, smartphones, fixed-mobile convergence and satellite technology. She also compiles and regularly contributes to TMCnet's gadgets and satellite e-Newsletters. To read more of Marisa's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Marisa Torrieri

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