IPv6 testing: Tips you need to know
23 Apr 2012
Today’s IPv4 networking software and hardware has been proven over time – you know how they work and you have confidence in your network. You know how many routes a specific device can hold and you know your PE routers will handle a routing update, and how much data can be forwarded because the router is working today.
The quality of IPv6 software and features in vendor equipment is unproven and largely untested. While vendors are delivering IPv6 features to their products as new hardware or software updates, these features aren’t necessarily perfect, reliable or performing properly. In this article, we consider the causes of poor IPv6 compatibility and how to address them by running a testing environment to detect problems, test vendor fixes and establish a validation process for network equipment.
You can simplify IPv6 product defects to just four primary causes:
- Some IPv6 standards are still changing and updating, which requires ongoing software updates to your network hardware.
- Some vendors started IPv6 development late and features aren’t completed.
- Vendors don’t always have strong testing and validation processes which results in buggy software.
- Existing network hardware doesn’t fully support IPv6 because, for example, the TCAM Memory architectures are tuned to 32-bit addressing which affects IPv6 performance or scalability.
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