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Testing home routers for World IPv6 launch

By Timothy Winters, Senior Manager, IP Technologies, UNH InterOperability Laboratory, special to Network World
August 29, 2012 05:58 PM ET

Network World - The University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) hosted its fourth IPv6 Customer Edge (CE) Router Interoperability Test Event the week of April 16 at its facility in Durham, N.H., bringing together both users and suppliers of home router equipment. The goal was to gain perspective on the current status of IPv6 interoperability against the Internet Engineering Task Force's (IETF) Basic Requirements for IPv6 Customer Edge Routers and support the Internet Society's (ISOC) World IPv6 Launch. Eight vendors -- Broadcom, CHT-TL IPv6 Testing Lab, D-Link, NDM Systems, Motorola Mobility LLC, Netgear, Time Warner and ZyXEL -- tested ten router implementations using publicly routable IPv6 addresses.

Under the theme, "The Future is Forever," ISOC's World IPv6 Launch on June 6, 2012 marked the largest industry commitment to and deployment of IPv6 in the history of the Internet. Participants of World IPv6 Launch included major ISPs, web companies and home networking equipment manufacturers from around the world.

World IPv6 day

In order for home router vendors to participate in World IPv6 Launch, ISOC required that the companies enable IPv6 'on by default' through their range of home router products and successfully complete the IPv6 Ready CPE Logo Interoperability testing at the UNH-IOL. Thus, in preparation for the launch, the UNH-IOL hosted its fourth home router test event allowing vendors to test the interoperability of their IPv6 implementations and satisfy the requirements for World IPv6 Launch participation.

During the UNH-IOL IPv6 CE Test Event, participants tested their IPv6 implementations against the IPv6 Ready CPE Logo Interoperability test specification using common interoperability test beds, including: Ethernet and DOCSIS networks, as well as DSL Wide Area Networks (WAN). Figure 1 below shows the network topology used during the test event.

Participants included both returning home router vendors that participated in previous UNH-IOL IPv6 CE interoperability test events and vendors that brought products to test for the first time. Vendors that attended previous events were validating updated implementations to meet the latest requirements in IETF 6204bis, such as DHCP SOL_MAX_RT. Those vendors attending the event for the first time were able to leverage other vendors' previous experience and resolve implementation issues more quickly than during the past events. This allowed them to proceed beyond the basic testing and validate more advanced IPv6 features.

network diagram

Network

o The WAN interface of the CE Router was a DOCSIS, DSL or an Ethernet network

o Cisco Network Registrar (CNR) acted as both the DHCP-Server1 and DNS-Server

o Host devices connected to the LAN interface of the CE Router consisted of a mix of popular operating systems including: Microsoft Windows 7, Linux and Apple Mac OS X Lion

The test cases were performed to verify that a home router implements IPv6 routing specifically, that the home router properly looks up IPv6 addresses in the routing table and sends packets to the correct interface, and that the home router otherwise behaves as a proper IPv6 node as defined by the IETF.

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