The global proliferation of mobile devices and the IoT (Internet of Things) has led to the depletion of IPv4 addresses, as they began to run out in January 2011. This led to a need to undertake a process of transition to the new IPv6 protocol. Although the growth rate of IPv6 traffic is increasing (it is estimated that in 2018 40% of mobile traffic was on IPv6), it is estimated that the use of IPv4 will continue for quite some time, due to «legacy» services, applications and devices, which do not support IPv6 and is not easy to implement an infrastructure in which both protocols co-exist until the full migration to IPv6 is complete.
The challenge for operators is to support and manage content and devices using IPv4, while simultaneously facilitating the transition to the new devices, services and applications in IPv6. The challenge for enterprises is to build an infrastructure that facilitates both IPv4 and IPv6 until complete transition.
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F5’s BIG-IP Carrier Grade NAT (CGNAT) offers a powerful and scalable solution which enables operators to migrate successfully to IPv6 while continuing to support IPv4, ensuring the interoperability of both worlds. F5 CGNAT provides high-speed- logging capabilities as well as support for IPFIX. This compresses NAT-logging, which significantly reduces the amount of data generated and therefore reduces the total cost of storage and processing. In addition, it supports multiple deployment models and functionalities (such as DS Lite, 6RD, MAP; NAT44, NAT64, 464XLAT, PBA, Deterministic NAT, Hair-pinning, etc.) as well offering extensive support for ALGs (Application Layer Gws), which is essential for applications such as VoIP, SIP services, etc.
The F5 LTM (Local Traffic Manager) solution supports IPv6 natively, and acts as a gateway between the two protocols, allowing a dual-stack architecture which translates the traffic in a bi-directional manner (IPv4 – IPv6).LTM makes it possible to publish services in IPv6 while the client infrastructure is still on IPv4, allowing a gradual migration, without any impact to users and ensuring the ROI of existing infrastructure.
- Other NAT solutions are less scalable and less flexible, with high costs
- Giving up IPv6 services means isolating a growing source of traffic and moving away from the needs of users
- A migration of the entire infrastructure to IPv6, has an impact on CAPEX/OPEX, as well as on the operation and security of the infrastructure itself
- Big companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple are driving users to migrate to IPv6, so ignoring this change will end up reducing visibility and business value
REFERENCE ARCHITECTURE | CGNAT & IPv6 GATEWAY SOLUTIONS