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North American IPv6 Task Force Completes Moonv6 Phase II; Reveals Results

[March 22, 2004]

North American IPv6 Task Force Completes Moonv6 Phase II; Reveals Results

The North American IPv6 Task Force, a sub-chapter of the IPv6 Forum and dedicated to the advancement and propagation of IPv6 in the North American continent, announced that the second phase of testing on Moonv6, the world's largest multi-vendor IPv6 network, is complete. The results of Moonv6 phase II testing provide the North American market with strong validation for Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) by revealing IPv6's effectiveness under operative conditions. The completion of Moonv6 phase II formally launches the network as a native IPv6 backbone available for network peering worldwide.

The Moonv6 project is a collaborative effort between the North American IPv6 Task Force (NAv6TF), the University of New Hampshire -- InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL), Internet2, the Joint Interoperability Testing Command (JITC) and various other U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) agencies. Taking place across the U.S. at multiple locations, the Moonv6 project represents the most aggressive collaborative IPv6 interoperability and application demonstration event in the North American market to date.

Moonv6 phase II testing has demonstrated the ability of IPv6 -- the next version of Internet protocol -- to work with high-speed links, firewalls, routing, common applications and quality of service (QoS) for real-time business applications, such as multimedia.

The completion of Moonv6 phase II formally launches the network as a native IPv6 backbone available for network peering worldwide. Routing vendors, Procket, Hitachi, Fujitsu and Cisco, have agreed to leave equipment, worth millions of dollars, on site at the UNH-IOL in Durham, N.H. and at the Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) in Ft. Huachuca, Ariz. so that Moonv6 will stay up and running to connect with multiple service providers and the U.S. military as a global IPv6 backbone.

"Moonv6 is the natural progression of hard work from IPv6 Internet Pioneers worldwide," said Jim Bound, chair of the North American IPv6 Task Force and chair of the IPv6 Forum Technical Directorate.

"The success rates we've seen here argue that IPv6 is clearing the hurdles to inevitable adoption. We plan to continue industry-wide multi-vendor testing on a rolling basis," said Ben Schultz, the UNH-IOL managing engineer who organized the testing. "The core network will remain up and running to peer with Internet2, and dedicated links from service providers such as AT&T will be used to deploy applications and services on native IPv6. Over time, Moonv6 will invite additional service providers, nodes and peered networks to come online as it takes the next logical step and becomes a distributed native IPv6 Internet backbone."

The following organizations participated in Moonv6, phase II: AT&T, Chunghwa Telecom, France Telecom, Internet2, KDDI Labs USA, Native6, NTT R&D, Root Server Test Bed, U.S. Dept. of Defense, UNH-IOL, Agilent, Ixia, Spirent Communications, 6Wind, Check Point, Cisco Systems, Extreme Networks, Foundry Networks, Fujitsu, Hewlett Packard, Hitachi, Hexago, Lucent Technologies, Microsoft, NEC, Netscreen Technologies, Nokia, Panasonic, Procket Networks, SUN Microsystems and Symantec.

Moonv6 phase II, which ran March 7 - 19, 2004 and stretches from Durham, N.H. to California, successfully tested the following: QoS, Firewalls, Mobile IPv6, DNS and routing and border protocols OSPF, BGP and IS-IS. High-level Moonv6 results included:

QoS: Quality of service functionality was demonstrated, proving that IPv6 is capable of allowing different classes of traffic to maintain different priorities. This allows networks to give important phone calls or video streams, for example, priority over routine file transfers or e-mail.

Security: Moonv6 phase II demonstrated that basic firewall and stateful firewall technology, which can be used to prevent network attacks, appear to be mature in IPv6.

Applications: The testing confirmed that basic application functionality is up and running. Microsoft Windows Media Player and Panasonic IPv6-controlled web-enabled video cameras were demonstrated to operate over the native IPv6 network topology. Several commercially available media conferencing software applications were also tested, such as France Telecom's eConf, an application that transforms PDAs equipped with a miniature camera into mobile videophone devices via a wireless video link between two pocket PCs.

DNS: Moonv6 successfully tested end-to-end domain name server (DNS) functionality on Linux, Microsoft, Sun and Hewlett-Packard HP-UX operating systems over the wide area network between Durham and Fort Huachuca, Ariz.

Transition Mechanisms: The Moonv6 tests showed that dual-stack configurations (networks running IPv6 and IPv4 in parallel), provide the most seamless method of accommodating both protocols during the next several years, when both will need to coexist on the Internet.

Additionally, testing of high-speed (10 Gigabit) links yielded very high throughput; these tests were proof-of-concept that IPv6 is capable of near line-rate throughput in the high-speed, multi-vendor, multi-protocol environment that today's communications service providers demand.

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