Carrier-Grade NAT for Service Providers

The Challenge

The worldwide proliferation of wireless and Internet-enabled devices has rapidly depleted IPv4 addresses, and by 2018, 40 percent of mobile data traffic will be IPv6 addressed. Service providers are challenged with supporting and managing existing IPv4 devices and content in the network, while at the same time transitioning to support newer IPv6 devices and applications. Because IPv6 devices and content are not backward compatible with IPv4, any IPv6 migration strategy needs to support the coexistence of IPv4 and IPv6 during the transition.

The Solution

F5 BIG-IP Carrier-Grade NAT (CGNAT) offers a broad set of high-performance, highly scalable tools that enable service providers to successfully migrate to IPv6 while continuing to support and interoperate with IPv4 devices and content. In addition, BIG-IP CGNAT provides extensive, flexible, high-speed logging capabilities along with support for IPFIX, which compresses NAT logging. This in turn reduces the amount of data per log entry and minimizes overall costs.

BIG-IP CGNAT offers tunneling solutions, including Dual-Stack Lite (DS Lite) capabilities that allow you to support legacy IPv4 endpoints in your IPv6 network. DS Lite capabilities consist of endpoint IPv4 packets being encapsulated in an IPv6 tunnel and sent to an external IPv4 destination through your network. In addition, IPv6 rapid deployment (6rd)—another tunneling service— enables networks on IPv4 to communicate with IPv6 addresses without upgrading hardware.

BIG-IP CGNAT also provides network address translation (NAT) functionality, enabling you to continue delivering IPv4 connectivity and handle high numbers of concurrent sessions as you manage IPv4 address depletion and plan for a seamless migration to IPv6. F5 BIG-IP CGNAT functionality includes NAT44 and NAT64., NAT44 allows you to focus on extending the use of IPv4 addresses in your network, while NAT64 enables IPv6 endpoints to seamlessly and transparently access IPv4 content and destinations.

BIG-IP CGNAT also supports 464XLAT and DNS64 which uses DNS AAAA records so IPv6 hosts can see IPv4 destinations as IPv6 addresses.

F5 Helps You:

  • Manage address depletion and IPv6 migration with flexible deployment options
  • Optimize network performance with carrier-grade performance and scalability
  • Reduce server quantities and management costs