A10 was founded in 2004 with the goal of delivering solutions to accelerate, optimize and secure web sites and applications. With its debut of the AX Series Advanced Traffic Manager in 2007, A10 started early development on the emerging IPv6 feature set. While the AX Series is focused on providing Application Delivery Controller (ADC) and Server Load Balancing (SLB) solutions, A10 recognized the impending IPv4 address depletion would soon become a major concern to Enterprises/Content Providers and Service Providers alike. As a result of this foresight, IPv6 management and IPv6 SLB feature parity for production environments were made standard very early on in the AX Series appliances, as well as support for IPv6 translation and related encapsulation technologies.
By 2010, focus on the imminent IPv4 exhaustion and subsequent interest in IPv6 had increased, and an IPv6-enabled version of the A10 Networks corporate website was required. The IPv6-enabled version of the A10 Networks corporate website would showcase the AX Series' IPv6 capabilities, service IPv6 client requests, provide real-life product feedback and participate in the upcoming World IPv6 Day on June 8th, 2011.
Operationally, A10, like any customer, had to consider cost, site management overhead, initial roll-out issues and concerns, and main site stability with the deployment of the IPv6-enabled site.
A10 Networks deployed its own AX Series equipment and features to rapidly enable the corporate IPv6 website at no additional cost.
A10's 64-bit AX made it easy to add our IPv6 presence. We experienced a few issues getting the required IPv6 addresses and AAAA records in place, but enabling the IPv6 feature took only minutes. It was amazing how smooth and simple the configuration was. I'm glad to see I work for a company that has a complete solution that doesn't require any unnatural acts to provide IPv6 services; as a webmaster it makes my life easier!
Dave Woo-Bloxberg, WW Webmaster for A10 Networks
A key advantage for A10 is the AX Series' ability to handle multiple, diverse, deployment scenarios, from native IPv6 traffic to Server Load Balancing Protocol Translation (SLB-PT), ensuring maximum flexibility.
The AX offers a standard ADC/SLB feature set; choice of ADC, however, was not the only deployment consideration. Importantly, IPv6 connectivity, which in effect refers to the ability to obtain an IPv6 address and enter the corresponding IPv6 DNS AAAA ("Quad A") record, versus a traditional DNS A record, needed to be addressed.
To obtain IPv6 connectivity and a dedicated IPv6 address, A10 checked with two Service Providers to see whether either one could offer IPv6 connectivity. It turned out that the first provider did not offer IPv6 connectivity, and was unable to provide an estimate for availability. The second Service Provider initially stated it was possible to provide IPv6 connectivity, but it then transpired that the IPv6 connectivity would not become available until Q2/Q3 of the following year.
With that in mind, A10 investigated alternative options. Again, some larger brand name providers could not offer IPv6 services, or explained that they would need to make exceptions and require full transition of the entire A10 web site to their service.
A couple of well known IPv6 providers offered reasonable connectivity charges with unmanaged hosting plans, but this did not fit with A10's requirements. During this information gathering stage it was suggested to check with A10's European datacenter for options. When the inquiry was put forth, the A10 engineer in Europe was puzzled as he had been assigned a substantial IPv6 block from his Internet Service Provider (ISP) without difficulty. Within minutes, the easy-to-configure SLB-PT feature was deployed and operational on the European datacenter's many AX devices.
Gaining the AAAA record also was not as straightforward as expected. The existing DNS provider's webmaster interface was unable to accommodate AAAA records, and the provider did not offer any estimate as to when the interface would be changed to allow for the entry of AAAA records. A10 also had a secondary DNS service provider, on whose webmaster interface the AAAA record option was a standard configurable element. Testing confirmed that this AAAA record option worked when the new IPv6 address was entered. A10 decided to move its DNS records from the primary provider to the secondary provider, relegating the former-primary to a backup role.
With the IPv6 address and AAAA record live and pointing to the AX Series appliances in the European datacenter, the AX appliances worked without issue from minute one. Key advantages of the AX Series in this environment are:
With the move to IPv6, A10 Networks can provide site access based on either IPv4 or IPv6 while showcasing the AX Series' product features. The dual-stack deployment represented a net cost increase of $0 dollars due to A10's use of its existing infrastructure and equipment. A10's success in rolling out IPv6 services shows that existing AX customers also can use the SLB-PT feature for IPv6 enablement, at no additional charge. This is in-line with A10's standard practice of no additional licensing fees for performance or features on its AX Series hardware appliances.
A10 Networks' AX Series is the industry's best price/performance advanced traffic manager – helping enterprises and ISPs maximize application availability through a high-performance and scalable web Application Delivery platform. The AX's Advanced Core Operating System (ACOS) architecture has garnered the company numerous awards and is revolutionary by market standards due to its scalable symmetrical multiprocessing (SSMP), shared memory architecture. AX includes an optimized multi-CPU architecture built from the ground up that leaps the competition in terms of performance, scalability and reliability. For more information, visit: www.a10networks.com/products/axseries
A10 Networks was founded in 2004 with a mission to provide innovative networking and security solutions. A10 Networks makes high-performance products that help organizations accelerate, optimize and secure their applications. A10 Networks is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices in the United States, United Kingdom, France, The Netherlands, Germany, Brazil, Japan, China, Korea and Taiwan. For more information, visit: www.a10networks.com