Moonv6 testing to continue

The Defense Department and the University of New Hampshire plan a second phase of interoperability tests on the Moonv6 test bed, the nation's largest native IPv6 network.

Initial 10-day testing in October demonstrated IPv6 linkage of academic and military sites from New Hampshire to San Diego. Time was short, and there was a dearth of applications written for the new Internet Protocol. (Click for GCN coverage)

'We had a limited number of vendor implementations to work with,' said Ben Schultz, managing engineer of the University of New Hampshire's interoperability laboratory. Opportunities to test security also were limited, he said.

Under those constraints, the File Transfer Protocol, Hypertext Transfer Protocol, Secure HTTP, Telnet and Domain Name System applications worked, Schultz said. 'It wasn't perfect, but it worked,' he said.

The DOD's Joint Interoperability Test Command at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., is assessing the results.

The Moonv6 test bed is a collaboration by JITC, the university lab and the North American IPv6 Task Force. Participants discussed initial results today at the U.S. IPv6 Summit in Arlington, Va. Much of the multimillion-dollar cost was covered by in-kind contributions from participants, including about 30 vendors.

Military Moonv6 sites included JITC at Fort Huachuca; the Space and Naval Warfare Centers East and West in Charleston, S.C., and San Diego; the Air Force Communications Agency at Scott Air Force Base, Ill.; the Army Communications-Electronics Command at Fort Monmouth, N.J.; and the Marine Corps Network Security Operations Center at Quantico, Va.

'It was like rebuilding the Internet,' JITC's Maj. Roswell Dixon said. 'There were growing pains.' In the second phase, scheduled to run from Feb. 2 to April 14, 'We'll have time to dig down to the roots,' Dixon said.

The next phase will dig deeper into security, mobility and routing protocol testing, as well as network stability and management, Dixon said.

Moonv6 is a key element in DOD plans to move its networks from IPv4 to IPv6 over the next five years.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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