NFWARE BLOG

With IPv6 you still need CGNAT, and here is why

09/13/2020
It is well-known that CGNAT solves the IPv4 addresses shortage problem. Indeed, it allows sharing one IPv4 among many subscribers, thus saving the costs on IPv4 addresses.

An alternative to IPv4 is the IPv6 protocol that can solve the problem forever. There are 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 IPv6 addresses compared to 4,294,967,296 IPv4 addresses. IPv6 seems to be covering all the needs in IP addresses for all the devices for future decades.
Do we still need CGNAT when IPv6 comes? - Yes
Like some people still use Windows 95, there certainly will be devices, websites, services that do not support IPv6.
CGNAT is not only "IPv4 to IPv4" translation, though it is the most common mode, calling NAT44 (NAT444). CGNAT also allows translating "IPv4 to IPv6" and "IPv6 to IPv4".

We need these types of translation because even if an ISP wants to migrate to a native IPv6, it must support IPv4 for many years. Like some people still use Windows 95, there certainly will be devices, websites, services that do not support IPv6.
IPv6 to IPv4 and vice-versa

A CGNAT mode that translates IPv6 packets to IPv4 packets and vice-versa is called NAT64. Because almost all services accessible on the public Internet are still using IPv4, NAT64 allows customers who use IPv6-only devices internally to access IPv4 services.

For NAT64 to function, it requires at least one public IPv4 address and an IPv6 network segment comprising a 32-bit address space. Here is how it works:
NAT 64
A simple NAT64 installation can be composed of a vCGNAT device with one interface connected to an IPv4 network and a second interface to an IPv6 network. Traffic is routed through the vCGNAT, which performs the required address translations for packets traveling between the two networks. The vCGNAT maintains an IPv6-to-IPv4 address mapping known as stateful mapping, which is populated automatically when the first packet reaches the vCGNAT.

Stateful translation can be applied on both the customer and the service provider side, allowing for IPv6-only hosts to reach remote IPv4-only hosts.
When the network becomes IPv6-based?

According to Google, the IPv6 adoption rate is 30% as of August 2020. Nine years from "World IPv6 Launch Day", when some major Internet service providers, home networking equipment manufacturers, and web companies enabled IPv6 for their products and services. It has also been twelve years since IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) first introduced IPv6.

Migrating to IPv6 requires significant investments. Updating all servers, routers, and switches that all this time depended only on IPv4 involves a lot of money and time. We do not expect the network to become fully IPv6-based in upcoming years. Till then, CGNAT technology helps ISPs to provide IP-connectivity to their subscribers.
How NFWare can help

NFWare developed a fully virtualized Carrier-Grade NAT that works on standard x86 servers and provides ultimate performance up to 240 Gbps in a single virtual machine. It is a cost-efficient way to solve the IPv4 addresses shortage problem, and it gives access to IPv4-only services when migrating to IPv6.

We built NAT44 and NAT64 in one product, so starting with NAT44 service providers can turn NAT64 on when the right time comes.

NFWare Carrier-Grade NAT has been deployed at many wireless and wireline service providers in the US, Europe, and the Asia Pacific region, demonstrating a significant cost saving and increasing network flexibility.

Contact us to learn how we can help your business to solve the problem of IP-addressing.
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