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Are You Ready for World IPv6 Day?

Posted on 5.23.2012

June 6 marks World IPv6 Day, where many Web companies from around the globe will officially enable Internet Protocol version 6 for their products and services.

IPs are the primary communication protocol for relaying datagrams, or network packets, across a computer internetwork. So, why is this important? Because IPv6 was created with the intent to succeed IPv4, the protocol that currently drives the majority of Internet traffic, and the launch day will officially signal that major Internet businesses, including Facebook, Google and Bing, are ready to get behind IPv6.

If you’re curious about the differences between IPv6 and its version 4 counterpart, the former specifies a new packet format that minimizes header processing by routers, offers larger address space, multicasting, stateless address autoconfiguration, greater mobility and privacy and more. However, at its base, version 6 isn’t much more than an extension of version 4, and many transport and application-layer protocols will require little-to-no change to operate on the newer IP, although there are some exceptions, such as those app protocols that embed Internet-layer addresses.

Load balancer and application delivery controller KEMP Technologies has announced that its LoadMaster LM-3600 load balancer technology has been tested and validated as performing with equal success using either IPv4 or IPv6 at Layer 7. This means that the load balancer is able to provide a high-performing application delivery controller (ADC) solution that will continue to work identically for companies as the transition to IPv6 becomes more widespread.

The tests were conducted by Broadband Testing and found that KEMP load balancers can support high throughput (just under 3 Gbps) for high availability of business-critical Web apps at both Layer 4 and 7 using IPv4 or IPv6, and it offers seamless migration to IPv6 load balancing without forcing companies to accept any performance loss.

This is important because, eventually, deploying IPv6 will be the only sustainable solution to IPv4 address deletion, more so for apps that will be consumed on mobile devices than anything else.

Thus, KEMP has worked to ensure transparent migration for business that will need to access their assets over IPv6 networks in order to maintain performance, predictability and reliability of network services. And now those efforts have been validated using real-world traffic scenarios that pushed the LoadMaster 3600 until packet loss occurred. In some of the tests, IPv6 throughput even outpaced that of IPv4.

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