Getting prepared for IPv6 may be a daunting task for enterprises and services providers alike, but the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Lab (UNH-IOL) believes it can make that process easier with its pre-packaged IPv6 test content.
Currently, there are two programs related for IPv6 compliance. One is the IPv6-ready program. UNH IOL, which has been providing compliance testing for the program for over 10 years, is really for equipment vendors.
The second program is the US Government V6 program (USGv6) program. Taking a proactive approach to the IPv4 to IPv6 transition, the government's USGv6 breaks out what features they want supported in any piece of network equipment they buy.
Developed in conjunction with network testing vendor Mu Dynamics, the test content will help any service provider or business plot out their IPv6 transition. Enterprises and service providers alike can begin their IPv6 testing initiatives, while vendors can perform the tests required for the USGv6 Test Program.
By leveraging Mu's Test Suite, UNH-IOL developed its test content for the Network Protection Device (NPD) testing service of the USGv6 program. The joint test content includes 27 categories of firewall tests, application firewalls, IDS's and IPS's.
What initially held back IPv6 adoption and deployment was the lack of open standards for simple things as firewalls. All of that changed, however, when the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) created a set of firewall requirements, for example.
"It's a baseline of requirements, but firewalls were initially tricky because there was no standard out there," said Timothy Winters, UNH-IOL Senior IP Manager. "I wouldn't say this is cutting edge security, but no one ever drew that line in the sand before. This time we had an open standard to look at and we used the Mu platform to implement that testing."
And while the government may differ from service providers in that they deploy lots of different equipment and are big on interoperability, their requirements have become the foundation for what the service provider community is now requiring for their own IPv6 network transitions.
"I heard a lot of service providers just pointing to the USGv6 profile because they figure if the U.S. government can buy you we'll buy you too," Winters said.
- see the release here
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