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Cisco highights IPv6 transition resources

New offerings address findings from a new study that reveal concerns about the security, deployment and maintenance of IPv6.

Cisco has announced new products and services to smooth the enterprise shift from IPv4 to IPv6. The offerings address findings from a new Cisco study that reveals IT leaders' concerns about the security, deployment and maintenance of IPv6 and their intent to seek outside expertise to oversee the changeover.

When the free pool of IPv4 addresses ran dry earlier this year, transitioning to IPv6 became the only option to ensure long-term business continuity. The effort requires unifying IPv4 and IPv6 across networks, software and applications. To address the unique challenges this presents, Cisco has a broad portfolio of switches, routers and security devices that have passed both international IPv6 testing as well as US government testing (USGv6 compliance).

Cisco is extending its IPv6 portfolio with new solutions that enable customers to ease and accelerate the transition from IPv4:

* USGv6-compliant support, specifically IPsec v2, for IPv6 virtual private networks on Cisco ISR G2 router platforms enables the transition to a dual-stack IP environment, completing the current Cisco suite of IPv6-enabled ISR routers.

* Stateful NAT64 support on the Cisco ASR 1000 Series router platforms enables IPv6 devices to access IPv4 servers. With NAT64 enabled, the IPv4-only servers and network remain completely unchanged.

* Location/ID Separation Protocol (LISP), delivered on Cisco routing and switching platforms, simplifies IPv6 deployments by automating the creation and modification of IPv6 over IPv4 tunnels for swift dual-stack configuration.

* The Cisco Network Optimization Service helps customers manage network health and prepare their networks for new technologies and borderless business innovation. This service now features smart analytics capabilities that provide graphic diagnostic insight into the network as well as a new IPv6 device-readiness assessment that helps automate IPv6 adoption. Together, these smart services help customers optimize network health during and after the transition from IPv4 to IPv6.

* First Hop Security offers immediate IPv6 access security for dual-stack campus deployment and is available today through the Cisco products portfolio.

Key survey highlights

The new offerings arrive at a time when many organizations are in the midst of IPv6 planning and network transitions. In late April, Cisco surveyed 101 senior US-based information technology leaders. Some of the key findings included:

* A majority of IT leaders (78 percent) said their organizations have made or are currently making the transition to IPv6.

* Most IPv6 transition work (94 percent) began within the past two years, while those who had not yet begun said they planned to wait at least nine months from the time they were surveyed before beginning.

* More than half (55 percent) have either sought or plan to seek the assistance of outside consultants during the transition.

* More than half (54 percent) deemed the move essential to the organization, and nearly three-quarters (73 percent) were concerned about missing out on the benefits.
* While interaction on the public Internet is the top transition motivator (50 percent), a significant number of respondents stated they are motivated by a desire to accommodate user-provided devices on the network or by their view of IPv6 as a competitive differentiator (18 percent each).

* Nearly all respondents (92 percent) indicate that their security team is involved in transition efforts.

* Top transition concerns include security vulnerabilities (60 percent), maintaining transition technologies (53 percent), and deploying transition technologies (50 percent).

* Most (56 percent) believe that responsibility for the transition should fall on the shoulders of both the service provider and the company.

* IPv6 has top-level sponsorship and prioritization within the majority of IT organizations; 63 percent indicate that an executive committee is overseeing the effort.

http://www.cisco.com

•Date: 26th May 2011 • Region: US/World •Type: Article • Topic: ICT continuity

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