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IPv6 Training (Cisco): What is NAT-PT? 

Added: 08/27/2008, Hits: 6,714, Rating: 0, Comments: 0, Votes: 0
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I know all of you die hard IPv6 enthusiasts already know what the acronym NAT-PT stands for, so this article is for the IPv6 new comers.

NAT-PT stands for “Network Address Translation - Protocol Translation” it is an IPv6-IPv4 translation mechanism, which was designed (created) to allow IPv6-only devices communicate with IPv4-only devices and vice versa.

Cisco’s basic operation of the NAT-PT consists of three items:

  • The IPv6 only device (node) that is located on a IPv6 only network.

  • The IPv4 only device (node) that is located on a IPv4 only network.

  • And, the Cisco NAT-PT router that is located in between both network only devices and is doing the protocol translating.

NAT-PT is mainly used by organizations (companies) as a short-term fix; until they are completely ready to migrate to IPv6.

The best advantage of using Cisco’s version of NAT-PT is that only the Cisco NAT-PT router needs to configured; the IPv4 and IPv6 network only devices involved are totally clueless that NAT-PT is happening between them. Cisco recommends that you never allow a Cisco NAT-PT router perform NAT-PT between Dual Stack devices.

The major downfall of using Cisco’s version of NAT-PT is that you have a single point of failure, the Cisco NAT-PT router itself. This is why Cisco recommends that the NAT-PT solution only be used for a short amount of time, until a long term solution can be achieved.

Currently, Cisco NAT-PT can be implemented in four ways:

  • Static NAT-PT

  • Dynamic NAT-PT

  • Port Address Translation (PAT) a.k.a. Overload

  • IPv4-Mapped Operation

I invite you to visit my website at where you’ll find the latest information regarding Cisco IPv6 Design and Implementation Techniques. And, also learn more about the new "Cisco IPv6 Video Accelerated Training Course" which contains over 3000 videos that will teach you all you need to know about Designing, Building, and Deploying Cisco IPv6 networks. (Guaranteed)

To your success,

Charles Ross
CCNP #CSCO10444244

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