The discovery and mapping features in EMC's Smarts network management software will now support IPv6.

EMC is one of the first management software vendors to support native IPv6 networks, an EMC spokesman said. IPv6 will become increasingly important, because the US government has required that all networks that access federal agencies must support native IPv6 by June 2008.

Smart IPv6 Availability Manager is available now and starts at $35,000, the spokesman said.

The new product provides discovery, mapping, monitoring and root-cause analysis of problems for IPv6 networks. It will also work with IPv4 networks and mixed environments.

IPv6, the emerging IP networking standard, offers the promise of a seemingly infinite number of IP addresses, which will help make it possible for businesses worldwide to network the explosion of new servers, laptops, phones and printers.

Experts predict the additional addresses will be needed because IPv4 address space will be exhausted between 2010 and 2012.

IPv6 is being adopted more slowly in the US as it is in some other countries, partly because of the greater number of IPv4 addresses available in the US. However, some independent experts say that eventually network managers will have to grapple with IPv6 conversions and might find network configurations to be time-consuming.

"There's a learning curve in setting up these environments," said Erica Johnson, the IPv6 consortium manager at the independent InterOperability Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, recently.

EMC also announced yesterday its IT Compliance Analyzer-Application Edition, which is designed to help IT shops ensure that their configurations comply with government regulations and other requirements. It will be available in October starting at $27,000.

The company also introduced the EMC IT Process Centre, the first in a family of software modules designed to automate IT processes across server, application, network and storage functions. It is shipping now, starting at $150,000.

EMC also announced its IT Performance Reporter-Network Edition, which delivers trends and historical data on network availability. Performance Reporter also works with other Smarts software products. It will be available next month. Pricing starts at $15,000.