The second test phase of the Moonv6 network, the world's largest multivendor IPv6 network, demonstrated the ability of the IPv6 spec to operate with most network elements as well as handling real-time business applications.
The Moonv6 phase II test, running from March 7 to 19, included a test network stretching from Durham, N.C., to California. The test, supported in part by a Defense Department communications agency, showed that the IPv6 network operated with high-speed links, firewalls, routing, common applications and quality-of-service (QoS) provisioning.
The end of the second testing phase formally launches the next version of the Internet Protocol to be used as the backbone for network peer-to-peer communications. "What could not have been achieved with IPv4 is now possible with IPv6, that is, an end-to-end secure network using IPv6," said U.S. Army Maj. Roswell Dixon, IPV6 action officer at the Defense Department. "For the government sector that is a big deal."
IPv6 significantly increases the number of addresses that can be assigned to devices and computers. "In a mobile army, moving on a terrain at 20 miles per hour, you need the implementation of IPv6 in all your communications gear," said Dixon.
End-to-end communication is also important for academic research where half of deployed networks already use IPv6, according to Rick Summerhill, director of backbone Internet infrastructure for Internet2. "We are well along to the full transition to IPv6 by 2008 with the this latest testing phase," Summerhill said.