Mu Dynamics announced on Monday a test suite for IPv6 that custom generates tests based on the user's existing IPv4 network traffic rather than from pre-determined, standard test cases.
Early customers include network operators and equipment vendors such as Juniper Networks as well as test labs such as the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Lab.
IPv6 is the long-anticipated upgrade to the Internet's main communications protocol, which is known as IPv4. IPv4 uses 32-bit addresses and can support 4.3 billion devices connected directly to the Internet. IPv6, on the other hand, uses 128-bit addresses and supports a virtually unlimited number of devices. Experts say IPv4 addresses will be depleted in 2011 or 2012, which is why the Internet infrastructure must be upgraded to support both protocols.
The Mu Test Suite for IPv6 helps network operators upgrade to IPv6 by automating the process of creating test cases for native IPv6 and dual-stack environments that support both IPv4 and IPv6.
"What our solution enables customers to do is to take their own traffic and custom applications and use them for test case creation," says Dave Kresse, CEO of Mu Dynamics. "Our solution enables them to…generate test cases that are accurate and specific to their service or product, and it is done very quickly."
The Mu Test Suite for IPv6 can rapidly generate tests that mimic complex interactions that will occur in applications that use protocols such as the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) that have embedded IP addresses. It also can be used to test security gateways and application-aware systems.
MU Dynamics said a Tier-1 global service provider is using the tool to perform tests on more than 200 service elements on its network in preparation for migrating its internal network to IPv6.
"About 80% of our business today is split between network operators and network vendors," Kresse says, adding that "we do a lot of work with government agencies, and they have a deadline of July 1 this year for acquiring network equipment that supports IPv6."
Kresse says network operators can use the Mu Test Suite for IPv6 to test for interoperability, resilience and security.
"We can test for IPv4 over IPv6, or IPv6 over IPv4 and all sorts of permutations," Kresse says. "The more interesting thing is all the security devices including intrusion prevention and firewalls. There's a whole set of known vulnerabilities in the IPv4 world that these devices are able to detect. But when we move to the IPv6 world, it is unclear…that those devices will be able to find those same vulnerabilities unless a bunch of thorough testing is done."