In another sign that network vendors are prepping for the near-term shift of service provider and enterprise networks to IPv6, Paessler AG has begun shipping a new version of its network monitoring tool that supports the next-generation Internet Protocol.
Paessler's PRTG Network Monitor v9 features autodiscovery for both IPv4 and IPv6 devices on networks, and it supports IPv6 across a wide array of sensor types, including Packet Sniffer. All of the product's features related to the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) now support IPv6 and IPv4, the current version of the Internet Protocol.
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"We've been talking about IPv6 for a long time, but now it's the time where people are actually starting to implement," says Ken Sanofsky, general manager for North America for German-based Paessler. "A very small percentage of our customers are using IPv6 in production today. ... But we want to stay out in front of this [transition to IPv6] for our customers."
The new IPv6 features come bundled with the software at no additional cost.
"Realistically, IPv6 is not important today in the way enterprises run their networks day to day. But IPv4 addresses are gone, and it's only a matter of time until IPv6 upgrades are necessary,'' Sanofsky says. "Now another infrastructure product like ours is ready to go."
Paessler has some experience with IPv6, having upgraded its own internal network and test network to support IPv6 and having been a participant in World IPv6 Day, an Internet-wide test of IPv6 held June 8.
Adding IPv6 to PRTG Network Monitor "was a significant effort both from an IT and engineering perspective," Sanofsky says. "It took a number of months of effort. It was not trivial."
IPv6 is the long-anticipated upgrade to the Internet's main communications protocol, which is known as IPv4. IPv4 uses 32-bit addresses and can support 4.3 billion devices connected directly to the Internet. IPv6, on the other hand, uses 128-bit addresses and supports a virtually unlimited number of devices: 2 to the 128th power.
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