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U.S. Department of Defense taps Spirent to help test deployment of next-gen Internet network.

Spirent Communications (NYSE:SPM)(LSE:SPT) has announced its involvement with the U.S. Department of Defense to provide network testing expertise and equipment to help the department evaluate next-generation Internet technology known as Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) in order to support network-centric military operations.

The Defense Department has announced plans to migrate its existing Global Information Grid network to the new IPv6 technology by 2008. The next-generation Internet deployment is an important component of the department's goal of network-centric military operations.

This first Department of Defense testing series, called the Moonv6 project, is being coordinated by the Joint Interoperability Testing Command of the Defense Information Systems Agency and includes participation from the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. The tests will occur between national military and research networks located across the country, with support and participation from Spirent, the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Lab (UNH-IOL), the North American IPv6 Task Force and Internet2.

"IPv6 technology provides better security and increased flexibility and mobility," said Major Roswell Dixon, United States Marine Corp., and tactical networks test officer for the Joint Interoperability Testing Command. "These tests are important in helping ensure the U.S. military stays ahead in technology to support its mission of protecting the country."

The Moonv6 Initiative will help the military identify interoperability and security issues and better plan configuration for its next-generation Internet network. Spirent's Advanced Test Programs will direct the company's involvement in the project. Spirent's subsidiary, Spirent Federal Systems, has also been involved in the undertaking.

"As with any new technology, early lab and network testing is critical to planning a successful deployment," said Mark Fishburn, vice president of technical strategy for Spirent Communications. "We are excited about the prospects for next-generation Internet and look forward to helping the U.S. military plan for its deployment."

Spirent provides innovative test solutions that help vendors and network operators develop and deploy new products and services in the IPv6 arena. Spirent is an active member of the IPv6 Forum and participates in key industry events, such as the IPv6 Plugtests that are hosted by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ESTI).

"UNH-IOL has been asked to lend our industry expertise to the military in verifying standards-based interoperability between vendors. Spirent's test systems will help us accomplish that goal," said Ben Schultz, IPv6 consortium manager for UNH-IOL. "The UNH-IOL has a long history in writing test plans and coordinating interoperability testing for emerging technology services."

Spirent's Advanced Test Programs provide expertise for testing next-generation networks, products and services. Spirent provides the equipment, training and test methodology to help many of the leading technology labs and forums evaluate the performance of emerging network technologies such as IPv6, Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP), DSL and 3G wireless. Since its formation in 2000, Spirent Advanced Test Programs have participated in more than 500 networking lab tests and evaluations. The company conducts tests both at its SmartLab facility in Los Angeles and in collaboration at test partner facilities.

IPv6 was designed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to replace the current Internet Protocol, Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4). Today's Internet has run on IPv4 for nearly 20 years, resulting in a growing shortage of the IP network addresses needed by all new machines added to the Internet. IPv6 solves this problem and improves network routing and configuration processes. IPv6 is expected to gradually replace IPv4, with the two coexisting for a number of years during a transition process. Moonv6 was formed to advance the new protocol and promote it throughout the industry.
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Title Annotation:Moonv6 Project
Publication:EDP Weekly's IT Monitor
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 27, 2003
Words:594
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