IPv6 Adds Complexity to the Edge of the Internet

Earlier this month, I wrote a post titled “Mastering the Complexity at the Edge’ that focused on the increasing complexities of modern application delivery. One area adding a layer of complexity at the edge of the Internet that can cause poor application performance and end-user experience is the replacement of Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) with IPv6.

To keep up with the explosive growth of connected devices and the insatiable demand for IP space, the world will migrate from IPv4 to IPv6. Organizations will have to support both IPv4 and IPv6 in parallel adding complexity that will impact the performance of web, cloud and mobile applications. Because there is no backward compatibility between IPv6 and IPv4, the two networks will have to live side-by-side in a dual stack environment during the transition.

However, even with that, there will be very few networks that are fully optimized for IPv6 and most carriers won’t yet provide full end-to-end IPv6 connectivity. This means that some IPv6 traffic will have to be ‘tunneled’ through IPv4, encapsulated, and then de-encapsulated by routers or dedicated hardware.

Every bump like this along the application delivery chain is going to result in a performance hit, and additional likelihood for performance and availability problems. Additionally, until demand grows, it is unlikely that CDNs will have the same level of distribution for IPv6 that they currently have for IPv4. With less distribution, IPv6 content will be pulled from greater distances, again likely resulting in response time increases for end users.

All this means that it’s critical that organizations ensure their IPv6-enabled applications perform on par with their customers’ user experience expectations. IPv6 will require substantial changes in the way organizations test and monitor application performance. It also means that the test tools used to ensure the quality of the applications and end-user experience need to be updated as the underlying infrastructure and applications become IPv6 compliant.

The challenge is to get in front of IPv6 performance problems, proactively monitor the end-to-end application delivery chain, and manage performance as the network and demand for IPv6 grows.

At Compuware, IPv6 has been a major initiative for the past several years to ensure that our APM solutions are ready for IPv6 and our customers can continue to ensure the quality and performance of their web, mobile and cloud applications, without interruption.

In time for World IPv6 Day on June 6, Compuware Gomez Synthetic Monitoring will be available for testing over IPv4 and native IPv6.  Compuware’s dynaTrace Data Center Real-User Monitoring and dynaTrace User Experience Management are also IPv6 ready, giving our customers access to IPv6 test tools to monitor application performance from inside and outside their firewalls.

For more details on how Compuware can help organizations ensure the performance of their business critical applications during the transition IPv6, go to http://ow.ly/boCcp and read the white paper ‘IPv6 Transition: The Impact on Application Performance and Top APM Recommendations’.