William Data Systems Offers Help for IPv6-Challenged Data Centers

William Data Systems (WDS) has introduced a new gateway server intended to help data centers move to the IPv6 protocol. According to WDS, transitioning from IPv4 to IPv6 is a challenge for many customers, since there are costs and risks of changes to applications, networks and hardware. The vendor's ZEN Application Gateway (ZAG) is a software solution designed to help implement IPv6 under z/OS by minimizing the need to make changes to applications, hardware or networks.

“Our ZEN Application Gateway can be used for either production or testing, it depends on the shop’s agenda,” Graham Storey, vice president of marketing at WDS, tells 5 Minute Briefing. “The reason why the William Data Systems approach is so necessary in System z environments is that many shops have a need to incorporate and run IPv6 with existing network infrastructures. Most System z shops, including our Federal customers who have a mandate to consider, have a need to first test IPv6 clients and applications and then run both in an IPv6 plus IPv4 environment into the future.”

Traditionally, meeting this objective can require additional hardware, people and network resources, as well as considerable development and testing time, resulting in additional cost and risk for organizations that are already required to justify every dollar of spend, says Storey. “Our ZEN Application Gateway offers a more cost effective alternative for those shops needing to incorporate IPv6 clients and applications into their existing network infrastructure, either for production or feasibility testing.”

ZAG enables customers to test new IPv6 applications using their existing IPv4 infrastructure; access their IPv4 applications from new IPv6 clients; and segregate their IPv6 and IPv4 traffic on different IP stacks. It acts as a bridge, allowing traffic to connect between IPv6 and IPv4 stacks, and provides pseudo Network Address Translation (NAT) capabilities in an IPv6 environment, which, the company says, is useful for organizations that want to hide internal IPv6 addresses.

For more information about ZAG, go to the William Data Systems website at