The Dilemma

Since the earlier times of networking there was IPv4 (RFC 791) an protocol designed to address the amount of 4,294,967,296 single IP addresses (2^32). With this reasonable high number, it seemed that all PCs in the world could be adressed. With this consideration it is the same as with Bill Gates' famous quote "640K ought to be enough for anybody." - evolution of IT over takes them quite quickly.

Today the adressable space is getting more and more narrow and only a few IPv4 adresses are left. According to http://www.potaroo.net/tools/ipv4/ there are only 5% of IPv4 adresses left. According to wikipedia,  IANA believes that the last block of addresses will be assigned to a regional internet registry in Januar 2011 and that the registers will be assigning the last IPv4 address a year later.

 

Based on the fact that this critical resource is about to be drained, the IETF started a working group in 1995 to 'develop' the successor of IPv4. With publication of RFC2460 IPv6 was officially set as successor of IPv4. IPv6 will allow access to 2^128 unique addresses which means that a single person could have the same amount of IPv6 addresses as the number of atoms in a metric ton of carbon.

 

How can McAfee Web Gateway help?

When we started to plan McAfee Web Gateway version 7 four years ago, there was no larger 'hype' around the above described situation. During the course of the project it became obvious that we will have to prepare for the future as we were about to build the next generation web gateway platform and therefore should have the ability to solve this situation.

As result of our consideration we decided to become a bridge between the worlds and enable organizations to still keep an interal IPv4 network for their convenience, but to talk to IPv6 enabled networks on the other side in order to make sure that they can connect to the internet even when it would change to IPv6 at one point of time. McAfee Web Gateway implements a full features security gateway to bridge the gab between IPv4 and IPv6 networks. IPv6 capability is part of all product features. MWG operates in a dual stack fashion, which gives us the decribed benefit of being able to internet connect two naturally incompatible networks.

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Summary

McAfee Web Gateway is the leading security device for web security, that has the ability to not only handle the traffic for IPv6 but has the ability to really provide security for traffic passing from IPv4 networks into IPv6 networks or vice versa. It provides in and outbound security for the future evolution of the internet and networks.