Sun Promotes IPv6 At DOD Event

By Michael Singer (Send Email)
Posted Jul 11, 2001


Officials from Sun are are in North Carolina this week hoping to evolve the Internet's Protocol version 6 (IPv6). The current version of protocols is version 4. Working toward the next generation of protocols.

IPv6 is a specification of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) which expands IP addresses to accommodate devices like PCs, personal digital assistants, wireless devices and other Internet appliances; the expansion of the Internet throughout the world; the increasing use of "always on" Internet access; and requirements of emerging Internet applications.

Engineers with Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: SUNW) are taking part in a week-long demonstration of IPv6 this week at the U.S. Department of Defense conference known as SPAWAR.

"We (Cisco) will demonstrate IPv6 integration on an IPv4 environment (Spawar location, IPv6 products being attached to the campus network)," says Patrick Grossetete, IPv6 Product Manager, Cisco IOS Technologies Division. "We should run Cisco IOS IPv6 on the campus with 6Bone connectivity so an IPv6 SUN station locally configured will connect to an IPv6 web server at Sun across the 6Bone. We may also demonstrate NAT-PT (an IPv6 Phase II delivery), so an IPv4 host should be able to connect to the IPv6 web server as well through our NAT-PT box."

The goal of the demonstration is to show how the next generation of Internet protocols can offer expanded IP addresses, integrated auto-configuration for plug-and-play capabilities, enhanced mobility, and end-to-end security.

Cisco's industry partners - IBM, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Sun and Motorola - have already begun including IPv6 in hardware, software and operating systems to enable business applications to run IPv6-enabled networks in support of growing customer adoption.

"IPv6 is an emerging technology that will increase in significance as the demand for IP addresses grows," says Lawrence Orans, senior analyst, Gartner, Inc. "We anticipate that this demand will be strongest in the Asia-Pacific region, which owns far fewer registered IP addresses than does North America. As Internet-accessible wireless devices and Internet use in general grow in Asia-Pacific, service providers targeting that region will seek to build IPv6 backbone networks. Gartner expects that by 2006, 50 percent of all carriers in this region will have IPv6 running in some portion of their networks."

Right now, IPv6 appeals to early adopter customers in the wireless, gaming and home networking industries; the national research networks around the globe; and military and government bodies in the United States and abroad.

Mobile, greenfield and regional Internet service providers are currently evaluating IPv6 products and platforms in preparation for commercial deployment, and IPv6 exchange points are being established worldwide for interconnecting those providers.

The IETF is expected to next meet in London August 6-10 to discuss the demo and other developments in IPv6.

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