A10 AX CGN product line of Carrier Grade Networking gateways provides high-performance, highly transparent address and protocol translation services for service providers to extend their IPv4 network connectivity, while simultaneously making the transition to IPv6. AX CGN is our original CGN product line, delivering performance scalability up to 115 Gbps. The AX CGN product line is built upon our Advanced Core Operating System (ACOS®) platform, with our Symmetric Scalable Multi-Core Processing (SSMP) software architecture that delivers high performance for enterprise and carrier networks.
- Extend IPv4 connectivity: Today's networks may be prepared to scale bandwidth capacity, but the rapid proliferation of Internet-connected devices has depleted the available IPv4 address space. Service providers, as well as enterprises, have to meet the demand for connectivity expansion, but an immediate transition to IPv6 is not a realistic option. Carrier Grade NAT (CGN/CGNAT) enables customers to extend connectivity with standards-based IPv4 translation, preserving their existing IPv4 address allocation and their investment in IPv4-based infrastructure. CGNAT allows organizations to extend the lifetime of the current IPv4-based infrastructure, save cost and gain time to plan their IPv6 transition strategy.
- Broad transition options: The AX CGN product line provides a wide choice of technologies that enable a smooth transition to IPv6 networks and devices as they are deployed. The IPv6 transition technologies ensure that an organization's applications and users can connect to the entire Internet, regardless of what IP version is used. There are many IPv6 transition technologies, which allow customers to serve different IPv6 network transition needs simultaneously. Interplay between the transition technologies on a single high-performance platform allows for cost-effective transition.
- Application reliability: The AX CGN product line provides high connection reliability by using Application Layer Gateways (ALGs) and other important features to ensure that applications can remain addressable and operate transparently through address translation. High availability (HA) ensures that established sessions are maintained during failover and the end user is unaware that anything has happened. The high reliability of AX CGN provides organizations a cost-effective solution to meet service level agreements (SLAs) and user satisfaction goals.
A10 AX CGN devices enable critical services in efficient hardware- based form factors. The AX CGN product line also ensures that your rack space is used efficiently. The combination of high performance in a small form factor results in lower OPEX through significant lower power usage and cooling requirements.
A10 AX CGN provides many advanced features for enterprises and carriers to extend IPv4 connectivity and to transition to IPv6 Internet connectivity. As network addressing and IPv6 transition architectures can vary greatly across and within an organization, customers need a solution that provides the broadest support for industry standards and addresses different address and protocol translation requirements simultaneously. The AX CGN product line provides a broad array of standards-compliant IPv4 extension and IPv6 transition technologies integrated within our high-performance, ACOS-based appliances
Extend IPv4 Connectivity
The AX CGN product line provides advanced CGNAT functions to easily mitigate IPv4 address exhaustion and extend the life of IPv4 network infrastructure. There are many features available within our CGNAT solution to meet the needs for organizations that are looking into CGNAT.
- Advanced CGNAT functions: CGNAT provides a standards-based mechanism to reclaim existing public IPv4 address space, using address and port translation. This allows for a network where private addresses inside the network are translated using a pool of public, routable IP addresses on the outside network. The ratio of private to public IP addresses can be high, resulting in a significant amount of reclaimed public IPv4 address space. Performing CGNAT for many simultaneous users requires large amounts of computing and memory resources to maintain user state information. The A10 AX CGN product line leverages the highly efficient ACOS platform architecture, which provides high-performance CGNAT scaling in efficient form factors. The AX CGN product line provides support for up to 256 million concurrent sessions in a single RU form factor, as well as unprecedented session setup and teardown rates. Competing solutions require a large chassis product with multiple application blades to achieve similar performance.
- Advanced logging features: Local governments often mandate that network operators can trace a user's connection details at a given moment in history, which can be complicated when scaling out large IPv4 CGNAT solutions. AX CGN offers many techniques to enhance the logging detail or reduce the volume of logs, in order to reduce logging infrastructure requirements. For example, there are log compression features that significantly reduce the amount of data needed to describe a log event. Deterministic or fixed Network Address Translation (NAT) makes it possible to virtually eliminate translation logs; the user details of a connection can easily be derived via a simple algorithm
Broad Transition Options
Since IPv6 is not backwards compatible with IPv4, various solutions are available to achieve full connectivity, regardless of source or destination IP protocol
- Prevalent protocol connectivity: Transition technologies such as Dual-Stack Lite (DS-Lite) allow network operators to run an IPv6-only access network, while IPv4-only devices can still connect to the Internet using softwires (also referred to as tunnels) through the IPv6-only infrastructure. Light Weight 4 over 6 (LW4o6) or IPv6 Rapid Deployment (6rd) provide similar behavior, allowing alternate IP versions access through the network.
- Ensure IPv6 client access to IPv4 content: IPv6 was not built to be backward compatible with IPv4, complicating the deployment of IPv6 clients. NAT64/DNS64 solves this problem by allowing IPv6-only devices to access IPv4-only content, thus enabling clients to access the majority of the Internet today.
- Interplay for phased transition: Networks often require different transition technologies to be deployed simultaneously. AX CGN products ensure that you can deploy each transition technology concurrently, for example starting with CGNAT to immediately mitigate IPv4 address exhaustion, and then phasing in NAT64/DNS64 to enable IPv6 clients to access the IPv4 Internet, when you are ready.
Application Accessibility And Reliability
Even though the OSI network layer principle should ensure separation between the application and network behavior, this is not always the case. Many applications rely on network transport information to operate, which can lead to problems when just the network portion is translated. Connection reliability is also crucial for applications that need to be available at all times
- CGNAT transparency: Advanced CGNAT features such as Endpoint Independent Mapping (EIM) and hairpinning ensure predictable NAT behavior, and they provide a transparent end user experience. User quotas ensure that public IP port usage is fairly distributed between end users, and that viruses and malware, for example, can't exhaust the resources for other users.
- Application Layer Gateways (ALGs): For network operators, it is critical to ensure connectivity for all application services and users. ALGs within CGNAT ensure that protocols such as FTP, TFTP, RTSP, PPTP, SIP, ICMP, and DNS remain functional. Many legacy NAT implementations do not provide this level of transparency.
- Stateful session synchronization (hitless failover): When deployed in HA mode, the A10 AX CGN units synchronize active sessions, so when a failover occurs, the sessions will be maintained and end users will not be aware that a failover has occurred. This prevents users from having to restart a large download, for example, and increases user satisfaction.
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