IPv6 test for assured connectivity

Everyone has heard the hype about IPv6 so it is important to understand, what ISV needs to know about IPv6 in 2014.

With the increase in internet accessing devices, the pool of IPv4 addresses have been greatly depleted. This has led the telecommunication companies to upgrade to service the larger pool of internet users by moving to IPv6. First the mobile networks, which provide internet to mobile devices, will move to IPv6, followed by home and small businesses. If you browse to www.test-ipv6.com from your mobile device, you can test IPv6 addresses, and check IPv6 readiness and active connection based on a series of test runs online.

This strategy of gradual shift is working and IPv6 usage is increasing exponentially though still a small fraction of total usage.

So, as an ISV, how can you prepare for IPv6?

The answer is for most end user software that doesn’t do anything particular with the network becoming IPv6 enabled is rather easy.  You do need to do soe IPv6 testing to ensure connectivity though. Prior to that, all you have to do is remove a few IPv4 assumptions from your code. 

Let us look at a few instances where you would be required to amend your software code to allow for IPv6, and follow it by IPv6 tests.

  1. You can’t demand entry, display or parse IP addresses assuming a “digits-dot-digits-dot-digits-dot-digits”
  2. You have to use collapsing for display and entry so that 2001:0000:0000:0000:0202:B3FF:FE1E:8329can be entered or displayed (but likely not stored) as 2001::0202:B3FF:FE1E:8329
  3. If there is a port number of the format [IP]: port, you will need to accept brackets
  4. You also have to make sure your IP data structures support more than 4 bytes

These minor changes aren’t expensive but they have to be implemented in dozens, hundreds or thousands of places in the code base. Not a highly complex problem, but one which requires experience and thorough testing.  Nalashaa offers a quick IPv4 to IPv6 complementary assessment along with the ability to test your code in our IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) IPv6 environment to make this assessment process painless.

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Jeff Bolden