Cisco Blogs

How 6rd Eases the Transition to IPv6

August 5, 2010 - 1 Comment

A CNN headline finally appeared last month on IPv6, “We are running out of Internet addresses.” Meanwhile the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) has stated the bottom-line very clearly — with less than 10% of IPv4 address space remaining, organizations must adopt IPv6 to support applications that require ongoing availability of contiguous IP addresses.

The full network transition to IPv6 constitutes a significant ongoing project for service providers, so most have been seeking practical methods to help smooth the rollout process. The very timely IPv6 Rapid Deployment (aka 6rd) standard is a proven method for incrementally deploying IPv6 in large scale networks, and it’s now been approved for publishing as an IETF Standards Track RFC. Cisco is the first vendor in the industry to have live customer networks using its standards-based 6rd implementation of this technology.

6rd enables a service provider to accelerate the implementation of IPv6 services to existing IPv4 sites where it provides customer premise equipment (CPE). This approach utilizes stateless IPv6 in IPv4 encapsulation in order to transit IPv4-only network infrastructure.

IPv6 Rapid Deployment (6rd)

Most importantly, unlike an appliance based solution, the economical Cisco solution does not require additional systems-related cost, space, power, etc.

Cisco announced the Carrier-Grade IPv6 (CGv6) solution last year in anticipation of the accelerating industry requirements for solutions to ease the transition. The solution offers a systematic outline to Preserve, Prepare and Prosper during the migration with specific technologies and customizable services. New innovations on the CRS and ASR platforms allow customers to gradually move towards an IPv6 future. The Carrier-Grade Services Engine (CGSE) on the CRS platform provides massive scalability for CGv6, while the ASR 1000 with parallel processing on the Cisco QuantumFlow Processor delivers fast feature velocity without separate service blades. Additionally, Cisco’s service provider product portfolio has been supporting IPv6 as a dual-stack technology for some time. Our customers can enable IPv6 — in addition to running an IPv4 protocol stack — without affecting performance.

The Cisco Services for IPv6 offering enables service providers to transition to IPv6 in a controlled, safe, and cost-effective manner — thereby reducing the risk to your business. Cisco’s track record in successful IPv6 implementations across the world led to development of global best practices. The service is modular to meet the unique needs of your particular environment.

Recently Cisco demonstrated live the CGv6 solution at Interop Show in Tokyo, Japan in June. A variety of technologies – Large Scale NAT (LSN) with NAT44, NAT64, 6rd – were shown on the CRS platform (that won the ‘Best of Interop 2010’ award at the same event).

In short, Cisco’s Carrier-Grade IPv6 Solution (CGv6) is specifically engineered to help service providers on their journey to an IPv6 infrastructure. The benefits of CGv6 extend beyond service providers to end customers as well. What’s the bottom-line benefit for your organization? The multi-tiered approach is designed for an orderly and gradual transition, instead of implementing hurriedly assembled solutions when IPv4 run-out occurs. I’d urge you to be proactive and start discussing with your local Cisco account team to find out how we can help with CGv6.

If you want to learn more, please join Mark Townsley, a Cisco Distingished Engineer who helped author the 6rd standard, at an upcoming Cisco Knowledge Network on-line workshop: “How 6rd Simplifies the Transition to IPv6 Addressing.” The event will be held on Tuesday, September 7th, 2010 at 11am EDT and you can REGISTER HERE.

In an effort to keep conversations fresh, Cisco Blogs closes comments after 60 days. Please visit the Cisco Blogs hub page for the latest content.


  1. Please visit the Network Infrastructure solution page for more information on Cisco solutions for network infrastructure."