Blue Coat is looking to help organisations support IPv6 and unlike vendors who used tunnelling or network address translation, the company claims that it will preserve application and content delivery.

The Blue Coat ProxySG appliance allows enterprises,to reduce costs and increase efficiencies by using the technology advantages of IPv6, said the company. The ProxySG appliance acts as an intelligent intermediary between requests and content, making the retrieval of applications, services and data in either an IPv4 or IPv6 environment transparent to users.

This is an improvement on other IPv4 to IPv6 translation initiatives, all of which impact on the network itself but have no impact on application delivery, said Qing Li, Blue Coat's chief scientist. "Many of the IPv4 translation initiatives focus on the network and tunnelling which doesn’t necessarily mean that the applications are delivered effectively," he said. He pointed out there was also a degree of complexity in the approach. "Comcast's Dual Stack Lite approach, for example, requires you to upgrade the client machines and upgrade the server too, so that’s extra work – it’s not very efficient," he said.

Li sees that the move to IPv6 accelerating and that the Blue Coat platform offers a way to reduce some of the risks in that migration. "We believe that deploying v6 brings unknowns and security challenges to the enterprise. Blue Coat offers these enterprises a secure platform and brings them help in deploying those applications."

The product works by reinforcing corporate IT policies across IPv4 and IPv6 applications. This helps to provide business continuity without the need to rewrite applications, claimed Blue Coat.

Li said that the system worked by allowing access to both protocols. "For example, an IPv4 user tries to get Google Map - which is on an IPv6 address - we allow to try access through IPv4 first, and then, it's not possible try over v6. The system will tie in user name and via IP address and we can write policy according to IP address," he said.