Montreal-based Hexago Inc. is teaming up with Lockheed Martin to help transition the Bethesda, Md.-based defence contractor’s global network to Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6).

Hexago’s participation in the pilot program involves contributing its flagship product, Gateway6, a network appliance which provides secure and managed tunneling and transition as a complement to dual-stack when migrating to IPv6.

IPv6 is a network layer for packet-switched internetworks, designed as the next incarnation to the current version of Internet Protocol, IPv4. The primary change to IPv6 is a significantly larger address space that allows greater flexibility in assigning IP addresses. Hexago’s work is primarily centered on IPv6 network consulting and product development.

Lockheed Martin, which does most of its contracting work with the U.S. Department of Defence, might be interested in IPv6 because of a U.S. government mandate that all federal agencies enable their core networks for IPv6 by June 2008. This mandate has made IPv6 transition a hot topic in the networking community as IPv4 addresses are estimated to run out by 2010.