IPv6 11 September 2014

US DoD’s DREN Will Only Buy Products With An IPv6 Website

By Dan YorkDirector, Internet Technology

Want a good reason for making sure your website works over IPv6?  How about that some companies and organizations may only consider your products if they can get to your website over IPv6?

In a June 10, 2014, presentation, Ron Broersma explained why the US Department of Defense (DoD) Defense Research and Engineering Network (DREN) adopted a policy for acquiring products/services for the DREN III network where they would only consider products where the company website was available over IPv6 (click/tap image for a larger view):

DREN IPv6 product evaluation

The text of the slide says:

  • Our #1 rule:
    • if we can’t get to the company or product website via IPv6, we won’t consider such products.
  • Why this hard line?
    • we learned the hard way that without strong corporate commitment to IPv6 support, it will take forever to get IPv6 bugs fixed or features added.
    • we learned that the corporate website being IPv6Y-enabled was a good indicator of corporate commitment to IPv6.
    • this has been tested many times, and it works.
    • in the process, we encourage industry to IPv6-enable their public facing services.

It sounds like pretty good logic to me! Having a website available over IPv6 certainly is one way of showing a corporate commitment to the production Internet.

Ron’s full slides are available online which explain more about the DREN III build-out that occurred during 2013 and the acquisition process they used for products and services. As Ron notes on his slide 4, vendors will often say that their products support IPv6 but very often the vendors really don’t have an understanding about IPv6.

There are some other good points in the slides, too, such as where Ron notes on slide 9 their pleasant surprise that the “mainstream” customer premise equipment all seemed to work fine with IPv6.  He also notes that all of their network management takes place over IPv6, with none happening over legacy IPv4. It’s also good to see his “vision”:

DREN is identified as an IPv6 network with IPv4 legacy support.

It is an IPv6 network first, with IPv4 support only to get to legacy systems.  The slides are all well worth a read.

What do you think?  Can you adopt this as a requirement in your product acquisition process?

And is your website available over IPv6?   If not, please consider our steps for content providers / website owners and start making your site available over IPv6 today!

P.S. Hat tip to Phil Benchoff for posting about Ron’s slide in the ‘IPv6 Promotion’ community on Google+ (which is, of course, available over IPv6!)

Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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