Cisco adds IPv6 migration features to routers

Cisco beefs up its support of technologies that help move companies from IPv4 to IPv6

Cisco this week rolled out products and services designed to ease the transition from IPv4 to IPv6 for enterprise customers.

Cisco says the offerings address findings from an internal study that indicates IT is concerned about the security, deployment and maintenance of IPv6 and intends to seek assistance in managing the changeover. The company says its switches, routers and security devices have passed both international and U.S. government IPv6 testing, and that many were operating and on display in the InteropNet network at the recent Interop trade show.

That was the first time InteropNet, which supported more than 15,000 attendees and 400 exhibitors, ran IPv4 and IPv6 side by side, end to end, Cisco says.

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The new IPv6-compliant additions include support for IPSec v2 VPNs on Cisco's ISR G2 branch routers, and stateful NAT64 support on the ASR 1000 series routers, which enables IPv6 devices to access IPv4 servers. The company has also added support for Location/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to its IOS router software.

LISP is a Cisco-developed method of automating the creation and modification of IPv6-over-IPv4 tunnels for dual-stack configurations. LISP would logically separate a block of IP addresses that a company advertises out to the global Internet so they don't have to be changed if the company is using more than one ISP. LISP proponents also say the technique would make it easier for companies to switch carriers without having to acquire new IP addresses because the identification function would remain constant even if the location information changes.

For assistance in migrating customers to IPv6, Cisco unveiled a network optimization service that features IPv6 device-readiness assessment and optimization. Cisco is also offering an IPv6 access security service for its products.

Cisco's survey found that 78% of the 101 U.S. senior IT leaders queried have made or are currently making the transition to IPv6. More than half have either sought or plan to seek assistance of outside consultants during the transition, and 92% said their security team is involved in the transition.

Also, 54% deemed the move essential to the organization, while 73% were concerned about "missing out on the benefits" of IPv6, Cisco said. Of those surveyed, 63% said that an executive committee is overseeing the effort.

Cisco said it has committed to the 24-hour global "test drive" of IP's next version on June 8.

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