For IPv6 shift, DOD will scrap some of COE

To fulfill its plans to shift to IP Version 6, the Defense Department must drop at least one element of its long-standing Common Operating Environment.

'We're going to do away with the Common Operating Environment' that specifies Windows 2000, said John Osterholz, DOD director of architecture and interoperability.

The department is scrapping the requirements relating to the Microsoft Windows 2000 operating system because it is not IPv6-compliant, he said last week at the IPv6 U.S. Summit in Arlington, Va.

In June, Defense CIO John P. Stenbit announced the move to the next-generation Internet Protocol over the next five years [GCN, June 23, Page 9]. The IT industry and the military services are betting the move will spur development of compatible products and services.

'The DOD decision to move to IPv6 is monumental,' said Latif Ladid, president of the IPv6 Forum.

'We are in the early adopter mode now, uncomfortably so,' Osterholz said. 'DOD wants to encourage a wave of commercial application development and accelerate the availability of firewalls. Currently, the base is very thin.'

Sept. 11, 2001, led to a move from the theory of network-centric warfare to a decision for practical implementation, he said.

'IPv6 offers more security and mobility than by patching the current IPv4,' Osterholz said. 'The department is rushing development, despite its discomfort with being on the cutting edge, to take advantage of the huge amounts of data expected to be available by 2008.'

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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