Vyatta routing software ready for IPv6

The latest version of the open source system also includes new features for cloud computing

The Vyatta open source network operating system has been certified for IPv6, which is likely to become a key capability as the number of Internet addresses available under the current version of IP diminishes.

Version 6.1 of Vyatta, announced Tuesday and available now for downloading from the company's website, has received IPv6 Ready Logo Phase 2 certification from the IPv6 Forum, according to Vyatta. The certification is designed to ensure a smooth migration to IPv6, which includes an almost unlimited number of addresses for Internet-connected devices and has more advanced security features than the current protocol, IPv4.

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Vyatta is a virtual, software-based routing and security platform designed to be deployed on standard servers in an enterprise. The company offers it as a free distribution and under a paid subscription that includes service and support. It claims nearly 1,000 paid customers and estimates its total user community at more than 100,000 people worldwide. The subscription version of Vyatta's software was certified through the IPv6 forum Conformance and Interoperability Testing Program at the University of New Hampshire, but Vyatta said the free, downloadable version also includes all the IPv6 functions.

Although Vyatta offers its software worldwide, the company has not yet heard a lot of urgent demands for IPv6 capability, said Vice President of Marketing Tom McCafferty. Some customers in Japan, where Vyatta has recently made inroads, and in the U.S. government have shown greater interest in the new capability, he said.

As of Tuesday, there were fewer than 550 days left until all unused IPv4 addresses have been assigned, according to a countdown clock maintained by Matt Ford of the Internet Society.

The latest version of Vyatta also includes Layer 2 cloud bridging, which links two physically separate networks over the Internet as if they are a single Ethernet network. This capability allows enterprises and service providers to move virtual machines among separate networks without changing internal IP addresses, McCafferty said. The company also added stateful failover, so Vyatta can shift over from one hardware server to another while maintaining information about the state of the software, he said.

The core routing and security software of Vyatta is free, but there is also a subscription version that includes additional management and security features. It is priced starting at 747. There are also third-party add-ons available. One that was newly added alongside Version 6.1 was a subscription to the Sourcefire/Snort rulebase, a source of continually updated security information, starting at $250 per year.

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