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Linux-ready plug-in enables IPv6 traffic over IPv4 nets

Mar 9, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Access subsidiary IP Infusion announced a new Linux-ready “stateless tunneling” product that enables the coexistence of IPv4 and IPv6 networks. Based on the IETF's “6rd” (IPv6 rapid deployment) specifications, ZebOS Rapid Deployment forwards IPv6 traffic though existing IPv4 networks, enabling carriers to more easily transition to IPv6, says IP Infusion.

ZebOS Rapid Deployment is billed as a standards-based, commercial grade plug-in module that runs with almost any Linux or BSD operating system, including Net BSD and Free BSD, and can be incorporated into almost any existing network, says IP Infusion. As such, it does not appear to require the full Linux-based ZebOS network middleware platform (see information further below).

ZebOS Rapid Deployment forwards IPv6 traffic though IPv4 networks using technology based on the 6rd (IPv6 rapid deployment) specifications, which have been published as a Request for Comments (RFC) by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), says IP Infusion. The proposed 6rd specs enable stateless IPv6 in IPv4 encapsulation, in order to move IPv6 traffic over IPv4-only network infrastructure. The stateless tunneling technology supports high scalability of traffic flow, says the company.

IP Infusion's ZebOS Rapid Deployment builds on the 6rd specs with an accounting function that manages user traffic for enabling Internet services. The plug-in also adds a filtering function that differentiates users. Both features are designed to help carriers streamline the integration of new IPv6 services, says IP Infusion.

IPv6 finally ready to roll?

Version 6 of the Internet Protocol, commonly known as the IPv6 protocol, was designed to support the growing need for additional IP addresses due to the fast growth of the Internet and the increasing use of embedded appliances with IP addresses. According to IP Infusion, available IPv4 addresses are expected to run out "in the very near future," especially in ASEAN countries.

Yet carriers have been slow to make the costly switch, especially on the edges of the network. With solutions such as ZebOS Rapid Deployment, argues IP Infusion, it will be easier for network operators to transition their networks to IPv6 using in mixed IPv4 and IPv6 environments. While the telecommunications industry develops other solutions, such as network address sharing technologies and network translation technologies, stateless tunneling can help the more hard-pressed carriers start the transition now, says the company.

The first customer for ZebOS Rapid Deployment is said to be BBIX Inc. which runs an Internet exchange service in Japan. BBIX plans to launch an IPv6 roaming service for other Internet service providers based on the technology, says IP Infusion.

ZebOS background

As mentioned, ZebOS Rapid Deployment does not appear to require IP Infusion's ZebOS Linux-based Layer 2 and Layer 3 carrier-class routing and switching software suite. Last month's version 7.8 revision added enhancements to GMPLS, Data Center Bridging, and MPLS resiliency over wireless backhaul networks. The previous version 7.7 release added support for OpenSAF high-availability (HA) standards, as well as PBB-TE (provider backbone bridge-traffic engineering), among other enhancements.

Stated Koichi Narasaki, president and CEO of IP Infusion, "As networks transition to IPv6, legacy support for IPv4 is imperative. IP Infusion's revolutionary ZebOS Rapid Deployment solution enables this transition for network providers."


IP Infusion did not provide pricing or availability information on ZebOS Rapid Deployment. More information may eventually appear at IP Infusion's website, here.

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