Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Urgency for IPv6 not felt yet


The business case for IPv6 has not been felt urgently by the industry, but the issue will come to a head in two years. Hence, companies should begin preparing now, according to networking experts.

Paul Wilson, director-general of APNIC (Asia Pacific Network Information Centre), told ZDNet Asia in an interview, the industry has long known of the limitations of IPv4, but has not prioritized spending on upgrading to IPv6.
"The simple business reality in a highly competitive environment is that a company will always spend its available resources on profit-making activities. There is no customer demand for IPv6, and therefore no immediate pressing business case," said Wilson.
The issue at hand with the current IPv4 standard is that there is a finite pool of addresses, so the industry will come to a point where the pool will be exhausted. The migration to IPv6 is one which is expected to cost billions in both hardware and software upgrades.
Wilson, who is a senior executive at the authority responsible for allocating Internet address resources in the Asia-Pacific region, said: "Sometimes we hear that the Internet industry has been unable to deploy IPv6 for one reason or another.
"The truth is, however, that the industry has decided not to deploy it so far."
APNIC hopes the industry will be catalyzed over the next two years to help to make up for lost time, to allow for a smoother transition to IPv6, he said.
Philip Smith, consulting engineer at the Internet architectures group, office of the CTO at Cisco Systems, told ZDNet Asia, a number of barriers face the industry's implementation of IPv6: the lack of customer demand, few content sites supporting both IPv4 and IPv6 and the costs associated with upgrading hardware, software, processes and training.
"Even after deciding on the migration action, businesses will have to deal with all the issues surrounding the existence of dual protocols within their networks over a short to medium time scale," Smith added.
Businesses should start planning IPv6 migrations nowSmith said ISPs "who do not have a plan on what to do to carry on growing their businesses after the end of 2010 will be left by the wayside".
"The IPv4 address pool runs out in early 2011. This is a hard fact," he said.
Businesses should be planning their IPv6 deployments now, he said. Businesses which delay this process will be faced with "an increased amount of work they have to do and [the delay] reduces the time they have available to implement IPv6 when they can no longer get IPv4 addresses," Smith noted.
And enterprise networks stand to benefit in the long run with IPv6, the two executives said.
Smith said: "Today抯 IPv6 deployment drivers focus on operational cost savings, simpler network models when deploying applications, collaboration, service integration and leading innovation."
APNIC's Wilson said the much larger address space IPv6 has over IPv4 will allow businesses to expand their networks much more easily without the use of current workarounds such as NAT (network address translation) technology.
"The eventual promise is that the IPv6 Internet will be cheaper and more efficient at many levels--from the basic infrastructure, to the applications that we run on it," he said.
Businesses will be able to stick with IPv4 for a while by means such as reclaiming unused address space, or using multiple layer NATs, but these are short-term solutions, Wilson said.
"By giving every electronic or electrical device an IP address, and allowing direct communications between them, there is a vast potential for new applications and add value in ways we haven抰 even imagined yet," he added.
Furthermore, countries need to invest in IPv6 to help seed future innovation, Wilson said. "Failure to adopt IPv6 addressing may directly affect Internet innovation and development in the Asia-Pacific region.
"The Internet permeates all aspects of the economy, so future economic development relies heavily on getting this right as quickly and effectively as possible."
Nonetheless, the industry is not expected to be able to make a complete migration by 2011--when IPv4's free pools are expected to reach exhaustion, said Wilson.
"There will be an ongoing demand for IPv4 address space after this time, and those who need it will get it where they can," he said.
To this end, APNIC and other regional Internet registrars are working on finding possible transfer mechanisms to reclaim space on a larger scale, Wilson added.
"There is definitely going to be a period time, probably years, during which IPv4 addresses will still be needed, but will be obtained through a very different framework to that which is in place today.
揙n the upside, organizations that move now still have time to plan a dignified migration to IPv6. Those that do plan now can build IPv6 support into normal network upgrade cycles and training budgets rather than risk a lack of IP address availability hampering their growth in the future," said Wilson.




Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fluke Adds IPv6 Discovery and Management Capabilities to OptiView Analyzer

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Fluke Networks (News - Alert) has launched a new version of its OptiView Series III Integrated Network Analyzer. The company claims that with new IPv6 discovery and management capabilities their new launch is the first portable network analyzer to identify and analyze IPv6 enabled devices and networks, including IPv6-IPv4 tunneling that could represent a security risk.


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A large number of organizations have IPv6 enabled on their systems by default but don't know it, according to Joe Klein, a security researcher with Command Information, a provider of next-generation networking services to Fortune 1000 and government entities. The companies also don’t have protection in place to block malicious traffic, as some intrusion detection systems and firewalls aren't set up to monitor IPv6 traffic. The unprotected systems present an avenue through which outsiders can attack their networks undetected.

Jerry Edgerton, CEO, Command Information, informed that their company tested the OptiView analyzer’s ability to identify and manage IPv6 addressing. The company found that the OptiView Series III Integrated Network Analyzer is in full compliance with all IPv6 addressing requirements.

By using advanced active discovery techniques and active testing, the new OptiView analyzer identifies and document devices utilizing IPv6, said the company. Users are thus able to quickly recognize devices that are using IPv6, identify open IPv6 ports, expose IPv6 through IPv4 tunneling and differentiate legitimate tunneling from a security breach.

Fluke Networks point out that the new capabilities of the OptiView analyzer will also benefit organizations deliberately deploying IPv6. Through OptiView, businesses can analyze IPv6 router advertisements, and spot global and self-assigned link local addresses that cause configuration issues between network devices.

Additionally, the new version of the OptiView Series III Integrated Network Analyzer offers an option for full analysis of 802.11n WLANs. As the product now includes coverage of all wireless network technologies (802.11 a/b/g/n), it has become the only tool needed for both wired and wireless troubleshooting and analysis.

The OptiView analyzer’s latest version also features enhanced VoIP and wireless device discovery that enables the discovery of IP phones and IP PBXs from all major VoIP manufacturers, including Cisco, Nortel (News - Alert), Avaya and Mitel. Fluke Networks adds that detailed wireless LAN analysis is now available from the wired side of the network, which identifies WLAN controllers, lightweight access points, intelligent access points and wireless clients.

Don't forget to check out TMCnet’s White Paper Library, which provides a selection of in-depth information on relevant topics affecting the IP Communications industry. The library offers white papers, case studies and other documents which are free to registered users.

Tiny IPv6-ready protocol stack created

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Cisco, Atmel and the Swedish Institute of Computer Science (SICS) have built one of the smallest ever IPv6 stacks, and have open sourced it for general use.
The uIPv6 stack has such small memory and power requirements that it can be built into almost any device, allowing for a host of new applications like in-depth network monitoring, web-enabled medical equipment and power monitoring systems in devices as small as a light bulb.
"UIPv6 has the potential to impact a wide range of market verticals where automation is key, just as voice-over-IP did in enterprise telephony," said Rob Adams, senior director of Cisco's corporate development technology group.
The new stack needs just 0.5Kb of SRAM for data structures, a minimum of 1.3Kb of SRAM for buffering and 11Kb of Flash for the code.
Cisco has contributed IP networking experience to the project, while Atmel has put the stack on low-power wireless hardware known as Raven. The SICS' knowledge in embedded operating systems design was also key to the development of uIPv6.
Patrick Wetterwald, president of the IP for Smart Objects Alliance, said: "By running an IPv6 stack, operating a network of sensors thus becomes as easy as operating a network of PCs, IP phones or any other IP devices."

An improved algorithm for finding community structure in networks with an application to IPv6 backbone network

The discovery of community structure in a large number of complex networks has attracted lots of interest in recent years. One category of algorithms for detecting community structure, the divisive algorithms, has been proposed and improved impressively. In this paper we propose an improved divisive algorithm, the basic idea of which is to take more than one parameters into consideration to describe the networks from different points of view. Although its basic idea appears to be a little simple, it is shown experimentally that it outperforms some other algorithms when applied to the networks with a relatively obscure community structure. We also demonstrate its effectiveness by applying it to IPv6 backbone network. The communities detected by our algorithm indicate that although underdeveloped compared with IPv4 network, IPv6 network has already exhibited a preliminary community structure. Moreover, our algorithm can be further extended and adapted in the future. In fact, it suggests a simple yet possibly efficient way to improve algorithms.

On the placement of traceroute-like topology discovery instrumentation

An accurate map of the Internet is very important for studying the network’s internal structure andnetwork management. The main approach to map the Internet is to collect information from a set of sources byusing traceroute-like probes. In a typical mapping project, active measurement sources are relatively scarcewhile traceroute destinations are plentiful, which makes the sampled graphs quite different from the originalones. So, in the case that the number of sources is fixed, it becomes very important to determine how to placethese sources such that the sampled graphs can be closer to the original ones. In this paper, we investigate therelationship between the placement of traceroute sources and their sampled result. Based on the relationship, wepropose a method on how to place the traceroute sources. We show that the graph sampled from sourcesselected using our method is more accurate than the ones randomly selected. We also validate our conclusionusing the raw trace data of skitter[2] project.

Analyzing and Modeling the IPv6 Internet AS-level Topology

After analyzing the topology data from CAIDA’s Scamper and our IPv6 topology discovery system Dolphin, we find that the IPv6 Internet is also scale-free at AS level but with a new feature: its exponent of the degree distribution is just 1.2, which is much smaller than that of the IPv4 Internet and those of most other scale-free networks. The value of 2 of the degree exponent is the lower bound for most scale-free networks. We argue that the degree exponent is a measure of uniformity of the degree distribution and try to seek the reason for the small degree exponent of the IPv6 Internet. Current evolving network models, however, have difficulties in reproducing such a small exponent. Then based on the two major factors affecting the exponent and the EBA model we propose a new model which has the capability to construct a scale-free network with the degree exponent smaller than 2. To verify the validity of this model, both theoretical and experimental analyses have been carried out. Finally, we demonstrate the effectiveness of this model by successfully reproducing the topology of the IPv6 Internet.