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[ISN] NIST releases a draft compliance guide for IPv6


By Matthew Weigelt
January 24, 2008

The National Institute of Standards and Technologys second draft profile 
on IP Version 6, released Jan. 23, will help agencies buy products that 
the government considers capable of handling the new protocol.

The draft profile [1] describes initial plans for testing whether 
products can integrate with other products built to NISTs 
specifications. The profile is meant as a planning guide for future 

NIST said in its profile that compliance rules will be updated annually. 
However, new requirements wont become enforceable for two years after 

Companies are churning out IPv6-ready products, but there hasnt been 
enough time for the government to define a minimum, de facto standard, 
according to the new profile. As a result, agencies will need to test 
products to protect themselves when planning to invest early in IPv6.

It is unreasonable to expect the product and testing industry to be able 
to respond immediately, according to the profile. Likewise, procurement 
officials need adequate time to plan.

The draft profile recommends IPv6 capabilities for common network 
devices, including routers, intrusion-detection systems and firewalls. 
The document also includes a selection of IPv6 standards needed to meet 
most agencies minimum requirements.

The profile was created to ensure that IPv6-enabled information systems 
are secure and can communicate among themselves. The document also 
addresses how the systems can work with the current IPv4 systems.

Agencies are expected to use NISTs standards as a basis for unique 
information technology requirements.

NISTs second draft reflects changes in requirements based on more than 
500 comments the agency received on the first draft. The second draft 
also evolved because of changes in government policies and plans for 
adopting IPv6.

[1] http://www.antd.nist.gov/usgv6/usgv6-v1-draft2.pdf

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