There’s some debate over how long the IPv4 addressing system will hold out, but one thing’s for certain: it’s filling up fast. Modern operating systems are built with support for IPv6, but connecting traffic from the old system to the new one poses a special challenge.
Blue Coat thinks it has an answer. Enterprise Networking Planet looks at the company’s new ProxySG appliance, and what it might mean for IPv6 compatibility.
As IPv4 address space nears exhaustion, the challenges of effectively using the next generation IPv6 addressing system are likely to soon concern enterprises. While most modern operating systems today support IPv6 addresses, application awareness and connectivity is another issue.
It’s a challenge that networking vendor Blue Coat (NASDAQ: BCSI) is tackling with its ProxySG appliance and its underlying SGOS 5.5 operating system. The ProxySG is a secure gateway appliance from Blue Coat that provides security, acceleration and content filtering capabilities.
Even as IPv4 space become scarce, there will still be a need to connect IPv4 networks to IPv6 ones. Current methods include tunneling IPv6 traffic over IPv4 — or vice versa — and then attempting to translate where the packets are supposed to go.
Qing Li, Blue Coat’s chief scientist and senior technologist, said that the problem with tunneling is that the solution only works if the packet payload doesn’t include addressing information. That means that if a packet had IPv6 address information and it is run over an IPv4 network the application won’t know what to do with that information.
“At Blue Coat, we’ve spent five years designing a new mechanism focused on seamless translation from IPv4 to IPv6 by not using convention translation or tunneling mechanisms but by looking at the semantics of the IPv6 architecture,” Li told InternetNews.com.