Networking equipment vendor Foundry has added IPv6 support to its NetIron 40G router and its BigIron MG8 switch, and is now ready to ship this updated hardware to market in Europe.
The IPv6 protocol supersedes Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4), today's standard method of Internet addressing. IPv6 will dramatically expand the number of available IP addresses, which its supporters say is vital given the rapid growth in the number of devices that are being connected to the Internet.
"Some of our domestic and international customers have made IPv6 a top priority in their network build-outs," said Bobby Johnson, president and CEO of Foundry Networks, in a statement.
"Many others as well have IPv6 on their planning horizon," Johnson added
Some experts, though, aren't convinced that there is a great need for IPv6. The protocol is being deployed in Asia, where there has been the greatest shortage of available IPv4 addresses, but there has been much less take-up in Europe and the US.
The NetIron 40G router and BigIron MG8 switch both support 10-Gigabit Ethernet. Foundry also launched a 60-port Gigabit Ethernet over copper module for the BigIron MG8 this week that will allow up to 480 Gigabit Ethernet ports to be handled by a single switch, or 1,440 to be handled by three switches in a rack.
Foundry's plans to add IPv6 support to NetIron 40G router and BigIron MG8 switch were first reported at the end of April. The company demonstrated at the Network + Interop tradeshow last month that the equipment can route up to 480 million IPv6 packets per second, which it says is much faster than rivals such as Cisco.