As enterprises develop IPv6 transition plans for their corporate network, IT departments are looking for tools and resources to help them make the switch. Infoblox is trying to make the migration easier.
Infoblox added two new features to its DDI appliances to help service providers and enterprise customers in the midst of the IPv6 transition, the company said March 3. DDI refers to three network services: domain name solution (DNS), dynamic host configuration protocol (DHCP) and IP address management (IPAM). Infoblox is offering enterprises tools that will allow enterprises to automate and manage the migration between IPv4 and IPv6 instead of relying on manual tools, which may be time-consuming and prone to errors.
Infoblox added DHCP for IPv6 to automate the assignment of IPv6 addresses to devices on the network, as well as DNS64, a translation technology that allows IPv4 systems to talk to IPv6 systems. With DNS64, IPv6-only devices can connect and operate with legacy IPv4 "islands," or systems still running on the older network, Steve Garrison, vice president of corporate marketing, told eWEEK.
Enterprises will be rolling out IPv6 in phases, and the entire migration will "be over decades," Garrison said. "IPv4 islands" will be common as organizations maintain "hybrid" environments, according to Garrison.
Even as organizations update and transition to the new 128-bit IP address protocol, industry experts expect that most organizations will be running IPv6 and IPv4 concurrently for some time. Companies will need to ensure that there is some form of communication between the two network address spaces.
The good news is that the industry is ready, as most modern operating systems and networking products, including routers, firewalls and application delivery controllers, support IPv6 out of the box, Garrison said. But many organizations are still investigating and don't have an active plan in place to migrate legacy infrastructure and applications.
Garrison said demand for DHCP and DNS services is growing among wireless carriers, government agencies, universities and early IPv6 adopters in the e-commerce space.
Garrison claimed Infoblox will be the first DNS appliance manufacturers to support DHCPv6, IPAMv6 and DNS64, but acknowledged that the company was behind its competitors with respect to DHCPv6 support. The delay was the result of waiting for the Internet Software Consortium to define the protocol and then deploying the standard, instead of going ahead with some other DHCPv6 implementation, according to Garrison.
The Infoblox IPv6 capabilities include IPv4 and IPv6 IP address management (converting from A to AAAA records in the DNS), delegation and automation for complex addressing tasks, IP discovery and network inventory for IPv6 address planning, automated IPv6 network change and configuration management.
Infoblox has supported basic IPv6 features since 2006. The new features are built into the latest version of Infoblox's software and are available at no additional cost, Garrison said.
The Infoblox announcement comes on the heels of OpenDNS announcing its free IPv6-based DNS service for IT professionals interested in experimenting with the next-generation Internet technology.
Companies are switching to IPv6 because the Internet is running out of IPv4 addresses. The free pool of unassigned IPv4 addresses was depleted in February, and the regional Internet registry for the Asia-Pacific region announced in April that it has doled out all but the last block of 16.7 million IPv4 addresses and will begin assigning IPv6 addresses. The last block is being held in reserve for startup network operators.