IPv6 - A Practical Introduction for the Rest of Us

Michael Sparks, Louisiana State University Law Center

For years we've heard predictions that the Internet is running out of addresses, and in fact IANA gave out its last block of IPv4 addresses in February of 2011. Born over a decade ago, IPv6 is designed to be the solution to this shortage and is already integrated into most computer operating systems and network devices. Although relatively few organizations have implemented IPv6 on their networks to date, events like World IPv6 Day in June of 2011 and World IPv6 Launch Day on June 8 of 2012 show that momentum is growing and IPv6 is not going away. 

At the LSU Paul M Hebert Law Center, we began a crash course in practical IPv6 in 2010 when the LSU Networking & Infrastructure group began making IPv6 active on the campus network. Instead of disabling IPv6 on our systems or simply ignoring it, we decided to embrace the inevitable change, learn all we could about IPv6 and make it work for us. To assuage our own doubts and those of others we've had to address these common accusations: IPv6 isn't ready for prime-time, IPv6 isn't secure, IPv6 will break your network, or IPv4 will "find a way" to make IPv6 unnecessary. In short, none of these are true. What is true is that learning new technology can be fun and that stepping into the future now instead of being dragged there tomorrow has its own rewards.

In this session we will begin by talking about what IPv6 is, the problem of IPv4 address depletion and IPv6 adoption as a response. We will also discuss the state of IPv6 in products you use every day: Windows, OS X, cell phones, web browsers and more. We will share specific experiences at the LSU Law Center as we gradually made more services "IPv6-active" and worked with LSU Networking & Infrastructure to resolve several problems that arose.  We will discuss issues like the ominously named "IPv6 brokenness" and problems relating to transitional technologies like 6to4 and Teredo tunnels. Finally we will discuss things you can do on your own to explore IPv6 including websites to check your connection, browser plugins that alert you to IPv6-enabled sites, and free "tunnel brokers" for the brave techie who is ready to try out IPv6 before the local network provider is.

We plan to limit the technical content to a level accessible to most computer enthusiasts.

Schedule info

Time slot: 
23 June 10:30 - 11:30