Brocade adds IPv6 to core switching platform

Adopt IPv6 capability without tossing out IPv4

Networking vendor Brocade has announced an upgrade to its core switching software which increases performance and adds IPv6 support.

Version 12.3 for the Brocade ServerIron ADX Series switches enables the devices to act as a gateway between existing IPv4 and newer IPv6 networks.

Chris Bull, Systems Engineer at Brocade Australia, said with the depletion of IPv4 addresses IPv6 come to a head recently and it’s a “bit of a wakeup call”.

The Brocade ServerIron ADX software release version 12.3 will be generally available in March 2011. It is a no-cost upgrade for customers with a support contract.

“IPv6 has been supported for a number of years in various types of equipment, but less so in the carrier-grade switching and NAT space,” Bull said.

“The move to IPv6 is not just a routine upgrade and does require some planning and there are various areas where the transition needs to take place.”

Bull said with more vendor support organisations an have an IPv6 presence without necessarily switching off IPv4.

According to Brocade, unlike router-based solutions, the Brocade ServerIron ADX has simplified, standards-based IPv4-to-IPv6 translation technology designed to adopt IPv6 capabilities without replacing existing IPv4 application infrastructure.

Bull said the upgrade also increases performance by doubling throughput.

Zeus Kerravala, senior vice president and distinguished research fellow at Yankee Group, said a critical point has been hit where general IPv4 addresses are exhausted, but we will continue to live in a dual-protocol IPv4 and IPv6 world for the foreseeable future

“This means the ability to deliver simultaneous IPv6 to IPv4 translation at the application delivery layer will be a critical ingredient to the success of service providers and enterprises worldwide operating in a dual-protocol environment,” he said.

Follow Rodney Gedda on Twitter: @rodneygedda

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