IPv6–When’s the right time to get ready?

The current system of IP addresses is slated to run out of addresses as early as 2010, so IPv6, the next generation of IP addressing, is gaining more attention. As noted in this PCWorld article, training for network administrators is growing in importance.

PC World – IPv6 Requires Learning Curve for Network Admins

The concerns were over the implementations and not the actual IPv6 protocol, she noted. “It’s not intuitive to an administrator what’s IPv6-capable and what’s not, and what supports what, so we had to walk [the testers] through the process,” she said. “That’s not going to work and can slow a person down many days.” She cited as an example one administrator who was setting up a file server with IPv6, a process that took about a month. The implications for businesses include the fact that IT managers need to do an inventory of what network nodes will remain on IPv4, and what will be implemented on IPv6 as a business grows, Johnson said. In addition, human resources departments need to be prepared for added training costs to prepare network engineers. “We got a lot of questions on how you set this up. We had to step back and say there’s definitely a learning curve here,” Johnson added. IPv6, the emerging IP networking standard, offers businesses worldwide the promise of a seemingly infinite number of IP addresses, and that will help make it possible to network the explosion of new servers, laptops, phones and printers.

When is the appropriate time for education tech coordinators to focus
on this standard and the implications? Because of the complexities of
mixing and converting to this standard, it may be prudent to acquire
awareness levels of reading and training now in preparation
for implementation down the road. Ideas/suggestions for where and how would be welcome here.

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