Not surprisingly, Brocade said it has some tools to help customers navigate the transition. For example, the Brocade ServerIron ADX Series, which it calls an "application delivery switch," can be used to present an organization's existing sites and services to IPv6 users. Brocade also has a NAT gateway for translating IPv4 to IPv6 addresses, which it developed for a cable operator that needs to deliver IPv6-based video-on-demand products over existing set-top boxes that can only use IPv4. These products are available now, Stewart said.
Brocade claims it is the first and only major technology vendor to make its Web presence, mail presence and DNS (domain name system) presence on the Internet available via both IPv4 and IPv6. Economics helped drive the company to this point, Stewart said. The U.S. government, a big Brocade customer, is starting to give preference to IT vendors that have proved their IPv6 capability by implementing the new protocol themselves, he said.