– Dennis Gullotti, senior product marketing manager at Compuware’s APM business, says:

What is IPv6 – And Why May It Hurt the End-User Experience?
Let’s start with a few basic questions: what is IPv6? Computers and other devices require Internet Protocol (IP) addresses to communicate over the Internet. The current standard, IPv4, allows for 4.3 billion unique addresses. Now, the Internet is adopting a new version – IPv6 – which provides many more unique addresses to support exponential growth.

How can the transition to IPv6 impact my users’ online experiences? As with any new technology, the adoption of IPv6 will be marked by a period of adjustment and fine-tuning. During this time, web application performance can be impacted, putting your revenue, customer loyalty and brand at risk. According to a recent Akamai study, network latencies over IPv6 were higher than over IPv4 on average. Compuware’s own analysis comparing performance of IPv4 and IPv6 URLs showed that on average IPv6 sites were 80 percent slower than their IPv4 counterparts. 

What causes this discrepancy? First, very few networks are fully optimized for IPv6 and most carriers do not provide full end-to-end IPv6 connectivity yet. 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, potentially slowing down performance and resulting in availability problems.

Additionally, until demand grows, it is unlikely that content delivery networks (CDNs) will have the same level of distribution for IPv6 that they currently provide for IPv4. With less distribution, IPv6 content will be pulled from greater distances, again resulting in response time increases for end users.

How Can Application Performance Management (APM) Help Address these Issues?

Compuware’s Application Performance Management (APM) solutions place the end-user experience front and center to deliver the following support for IPv6:

·         Synthetic Monitoring for both IPv4 and IPv6: enables businesses to proactively test and monitor web applications on both IPv4 and IPv6 from multiple global geographic locations. This helps organizations find and fix IPv6 problems fast, ensuring quality end-user experiences.

·         User Experience Monitoring for both IPv4 and IPv6: browser- and mobile application-based real user monitoring automatically provides insight into all end users accessing web applications from IPv6-based networks. Businesses can now monitor users coming from IPv6 networks as well as web and application servers running on IPv6 networks.

·         Data Center Real User Monitoring:allows users to identify application performance problems regardless of the underlying network technology. Data Center Real User Monitoring allows businesses to monitor applications, transactions and customer location-based end-user performance on IPv6 networks just as easily as on existing IPv4 networks.

To read more about Compuware APM’s support for the IPv6 transition, click here.