Hurricane Electric remains ahead of the curve with its IPv6 enabled Brocade network

In Response to IPv4 Address Exhaustion, Internet Backbone and Colocation Provider Readies Global Network for Transition to IPv6

Brocade® (Nasdaq: BRCD) today announced that Hurricane Electric, an Internet backbone and colocation provider, has future-readied its business to support massive bandwidth demands and device growth by implementing Brocade Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) switches and routers into its geographically distributed network. By leveraging its Brocade infrastructure, Hurricane Electric now operates the largest IPv6 Internet backbone in the world, measured by the number of networks connected. As of January 2011, Hurricane Electric became the first Internet backbone worldwide to connect to 1200 IPv6 networks.

Industry experts warn that IPv4 addressing capacity has reached its limit, which will require a massive transition to IPv6. Recent government mandates have expedited the migration, lead by the US Department of Defense (DoD) and other worldwide governmental agencies, by mandating that equipment be IPv6-ready.

“According to the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, we have hit a critical point where IPv4 addresses are exhausted,” said Prayerna Raina, service provider research analyst at Frost & Sullivan. “This means that IPv6 is absolutely critical in order to maintain and build next-generation networks. IPv6 will expand the number of addresses available to support the dramatic growth in Web sites, as well as millions of Internet-enabled mobile devices.”

Hurricane Electric specializes in providing its customers dedicated servers, direct Internet connections, and Web hosting services.  Strong customer demand has strained its global network infrastructure, so Hurricane Electric deployed the Brocade NetIron XMR Internet core router and Brocade MLXe core routers to future-proof its global network and multiple data centers, including its 200,000 square foot colocation facility in Fremont, Calif.

“IPv6 should be the single most important thing on network operators’ minds today. If they are relying on the global Internet, then they need to understand why IPv6 is critical,” said Martin Levy, director of IPv6 strategy, Hurricane Electric. “With an infrastructure of our magnitude, we absolutely required a simply, yet powerful and scalable routing infrastructure to support massive routing table space, IPv6, 10 GbE and a base to support for 100GbE in the future. We rely on Brocade to provide us the right balance of performance, future IPv6 routing table scalability and total cost of ownership to ensure a solid network investment.”

To help monitor this expansive network end-to-end, Brocade has embedded sFlow technology into network router and switch ASICs to deliver an "always-on" technology that operates at wire speed performance. Cost of implementation is driven down dramatically when compared to traditional network monitoring solutions using mirrored ports, probes, and line tap technologies. 

“Measurement is also critical,” continued Levy. “We rely on the sFlow platform embedded in our Brocade NetIron XMR Internet routers and Brocade MLXe core routers in order to understand in real-time where our traffic is flowing. This allows us to optimize our infrastructure, save money and more importantly, we know that our massive network is operating in a reliable and efficient manner.”

Brocade has developed a set of dual protocol networking solutions with embedded support for the high-speed switching and routing of IPv4 and IPv6 traffic, as well as native IPv6. In addition, Brocade also provides a set of IPv6 security and management features that support highly efficient and easier to operate dual-stack environments (supporting both IPv4 and IPv6 networks). As a testament to its IPv6 leadership, the Brocade ServerIron ADX application delivery controllers (ADC) are designed to meet federal government, service provider and enterprise customers’ Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) requirements for a transparent solution to help ensure performance is not impaired in mixed IPv4 and IPv6 environments. When compared to the performance of non-gateway all-IPv6 server networks the Brocade ServerIron ADX gateway solution experiences virtually no performance degradation, often found in competitive offerings. This ultimately delivers customers an IPv6-ready answer today without having to replace their existing IPv4 infrastructure.

“Advanced network infrastructures have become complex extensions of business operations that must adapt to rapid growth, data intensive applications, security threats, and new technologies that can stress the entire network,” said Graham Schultz, Regional Director, Australia and New Zealand for Brocade. “To address these issues, Brocade will continue to innovate in IPv6 to create one of the industry's most complete set of IPv6 unicast, multicast, and transition protocols. Brocade has a strong roadmap to support both enterprise and service provider IPv6 dual-stack environments, and we continue to be a leading player in helping governments and organizations worldwide in their transition to IPv6.”

Additional Information


Martin Levy, director IPv6 strategy for Hurricane Electric, discusses importance of IPv6 in modern networks  

Hurricane Electric Remains Ahead of the IPv6 Curve


Product Details

Brocade MLXe Core Routers

Brocade NetIron XMR Internet Backbone Routers



Brocade MLXe Core Router Image

Brocade 100 GbE Blade Image

Brocade NetIron XMR Internet Backbone Routers Image


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