SUNNYVALE, CA--(Marketwire - September 15, 2010) -  NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP) today announced that it is the first storage vendor to declare conformity with the host profile for U.S. Government acquisition of Internet Protocol version 6 (USGv6). Furthermore, NetApp is the only storage vendor listed on the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Labs' (UNH-IOL's) USGv6 Test Devices list. As a result, U.S. Government agencies can feel confident knowing that, as they make the migration to IPv6, NetApp has declared that the Data ONTAP® IPv6 protocol stack conforms with the USGv6 host profile.

"IPv6 is where U.S. Government agencies are headed to better communicate with each other and with the public via the Internet," said Dale Wickizer, chief technology officer for NetApp U.S. Public Sector. "IPv6 not only accommodates vastly more addresses, but also supports more efficient routing and integrated security. Therefore it's paramount that IT vendors do all they can to make sure that their products are up to speed and conform with IPv6 so that agencies can smoothly transition their networks with minimal disruption. Becoming the first storage vendor to declare conformance is further testament to NetApp's commitment and leadership in the Federal space."

IP is the method that allows computers to communicate with one another via the Internet. While U.S. Government agencies today still use the existing IPv4, the number of available addresses is quickly shrinking, making preparations for IPv6 all the more critical. The U.S. Government has placed such a high importance on getting ready for IPv6 that the Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense Acquisition Regulations Council (Councils) issued a final rule on December 10, 2009 amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to require IPv6 compliant products be included in all new IT acquisitions using IP. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) subsequently developed a USGv6 profile based on the FAR rule. The USGv6 profile is a recommended Federal acquisition guide for IPv6 capabilities in common network products. Under the USGv6 profile, as of July 1, 2010, all IT network vendors must provide a Suppliers Declaration of Conformity for USGv6 to be considered for any new government IT purchases.

To declare conformance, NetApp fulfilled USGv6 requirements by completing all of the prescribed product development for IPv6 conformance and interoperability testing of Data ONTAP. This testing was performed by UNH-IOL, one of two accredited third-party labs approved for USGv6 testing.

More on IPv6
The IPv4 address space is projected to be exhausted around the 2011-2012 time frame at the current rate of address consumption. IPv6 offers a number of improvements on IPv4, but, most importantly, it will provide enough addresses to allow every region, country, and organization around the world to have an abundance of IP addresses to meet its needs.

While IPv6 is expected to coexist with IPv4 for a considerable period of time, the exhaustion of IPv4 addresses is a constraint on new network and application deployments and may impact existing IPv4 installations that need more IPv4 addresses or need access to IPv6 resources. With its improved and expanded addressing capacity, more efficient routing, and inherent security and mobility features, IPv6 is a significant improvement over the current IPv4 protocol.

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