Rapidly ensure its multi-function business products will interoperate flawlessly in next-generation IPv6 networks.
Use the “IPv6 Ready” program as administered by UNH-IOL to ensure performance in real-world and next-generation networks.
In addition to cutting R&D/QA time roughly in half, KMBT has demonstrated its MFP products’ ability to interoperate in IPv6 and mixed IPv4/IPv6 networks.
The next-generation Internet protocol, IPv6, is increasingly in demand in the Asian market with the North American market inevitably to follow. Prepping for IPv6 compatibility involves reconfiguring products to handle many changes, including a different IP addressing model.
“Working with the UNH-IOL sharpened our business edge by significantly enhancing our time to market.”
Konica Minolta Business Technologies
Sr. Engineering Manager, Networking Group, Imaging Division
Konica Minolta Business Technologies, Inc. (KMBT) wanted to be one of the first to IPv6-enable its business technology product lines. The business technologies division needed to be confident that its multifunction peripheral (MFP) devices – large-scale office machines that do multiple tasks, such as printing, copying, scanning and faxing – would successfully interoperate in the most challenging enterprise network environment.
These new machines are far more than simple printers; they’re a new breed of “business hub” taking on tasks traditionally handled by networked PCs and servers, such as e-mailing, managing network jobs, storing forms and documents, transferring digital documents, sending high-speed black and white and high-quality color copying jobs remotely, all from a single, centralized power center. Conformance and interoperability in any network could not be an issue.
“Interoperability is essential for KMBT,” said Junichiro Hamaguchi, KMBT Senior Engineering Manager, Networking Group, Imaging Division. In an increasingly complex enterprise network environment, KMBT must ensure its MFPs and printers are compatible with an ever-wider array of products and protocols.
KMBT brought its initial IPv6 dual stack protocol implementation to the UNH-IOL for testing. The dual stack code was slated to be used in KMBT’s MFP platform, which the company uses across all of its networked business products. Building in the dual stack code would allow them to work properly in current IPv4 and future IPv6 networks as well as in the mixed IPv4 and IPv6 world just around the corner.
Without the need to send engineers from Japan or its Silicon Valley R&D office, KMBT shipped a device with instructions for set-up, scheduled two weeks of testing, released a bootable image a few days prior, and then awaited the test results. UNH-IOL engineers ran the tests in the IPv6 Forum’s “IPv6-Ready” logo program with minimal KMBT involvement. “It was a very easy process to outsource the testing to the UNH-IOL,” according to KMBT Senior Network Software Engineer and KMBT’s IPv6 project lead Yasuji “Sam” Takeuchi. Working with the UNH-IOL engineering team gave KMBT the competitive edge in terms of time and cost to market.
“Working with the UNH-IOL sharpened our business edge by significantly enhancing our time to market,” Hamaguchi said. “We knew from prior experience that passing such a rigorous test without going through an experienced lab isn’t easy.” Being the first of its competitors to achieve logo verification helps KMBT to demonstrate its strengths and leadership in advanced networking technologies.
“The project goal would not have been accomplished within the necessary timeframe if we had not used the UNH-IOL for the Phase-2 Logo Test. Rough estimates suggest we would have ended up spending more than double the time and cost involved for the R&D/QA if we did not go with UNH-IOL,” Hamaguchi said.
The UNH-IOL test reports provided KMBT with a great deal of detail beyond the base verification items. KMBT’s product engineers took the opportunity to pass constructive feedback to the development team. “Our work with UNH-IOL significantly improved the product in terms of quality as well,” said Hamaguchi.
“The rigor and thoroughness of UNH-IOL’s testing and engineering expertise exceeded our expectations. This was very evident from the high quality of the test reports and the interaction with our engineers,” said Takeuchi. “The UNH-IOL technical staff was prompt and provided technical clarifications of the test results in detail. It was very evident to us that the UNH-IOL engineers we worked with were highly experienced in TCP/IP and IPv6 networking technologies.”