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August 04, 2010

Transitioning to IPv6: How Carriers are Testing IP Services to Meet Deadlines

By Marisa Torrieri, TMCnet Editor


Though IPv6 is in its infancy, making the transition out of IPv4 is essential but challenging.

When TMC (News - Alert) last spoke with IPv6 expert Kowsik Guruswamy, co-founder and CTO of Mu Dynamics, a provider of technology for testing IP services, he said there are three pain points carriers will need to address for a clean transition: Functionality Migration; Regression/Interoperability and Security/Resilience.

What are some of the ways carriers and partners are working to meet these challenges? Unfortunately carriers don’t appear to be working to meet these challenges as much as they should, Guruswamy told TMCnet.

“What carriers should be doing is re-testing every element within their current networks as well as ensuring networks under development can also support IPv4 and IPv6 simultaneously,” Guruswamy said. “The only way for carriers to meet this challenge is to understand and diagnose any problems in advance of a full network launch.” 

Fortunately, a handful of companies, including Mu Dynamics’ (News - Alert) technology, have made it their mission to help out. Mu prides itself on technology to deliver true IP services testing solutions “and has been at the forefront in delivering this technology to the community of service providers and operators,” Guruswamy said.

The company’s technology provides a real-world testing solution for IPv6 that can effectively model and test a deployment across multiple aspects of a network using automated solutions that leverage the customer’s actual service traffic. 

“The Mu solution creates tests by using the traffic from your existing v4 based applications, and allows them to be re-run over IPv6 essentially with the flip of a switch,” Guruswamy said. “This helps compresses the testing process and product/service development by an average of 10x, enabling service providers to prepare their networks for the coming IPv6 onslaught before it’s too late. No other testing solution can perform the testing needed in the anticipated time before IPv6 is fully deployed in a real-world network environment.”

This is the final installment of an ongoing series on IPv6 challenges and solutions, which was a biweekly feature on TMCnet’s “Testing IP Services” channel. Be sure to check out part one and part two 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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