IPv6 Opportunities for Network Engineers

IPv4 addresses are set to be depleted by by mid 2012, so U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra announced
that all Web-facing government servers must be on IPv6 by FY2012. This presents a tremendous opportunity for tech pros who upgrade their knowledge to IPv6 and can help upgrade the feds’ infrastructure.

There is no certification for IPv6, as there wasn’t for
v4 or the OSI model. Many techs are learning the new structure
through books and online resources, as well as creating virtual environments on
a laptop. For those who want formal training, Cisco offers a five
day class
, IP6FD, whose goal

is to prepare the learner
for transitioning to IPv6 based networks. The class encompasses design
considerations, security considerations, configuration principles, configuring
IOS devices for IPv6 and IPv6 transition mechanisms.

When IPv4 coughs up its last IP address, any new
ventures by an existing business will require moving to the new platform. That will mean integration of the two platforms as the enterprise migrates to pure
IPv6. In turn, that could mean years of ongoing work as existing companies expand. As
they look to grow, they’ll require new addresses.

Doing the actual work in the trenches is only one way to
cash in on the upgrade. Another option is to help business retrain staff to help with the

But without an official certification, there’s no real way
to stop someone from claiming IPv6 expertise. How then do you stand out among
them? One way is to start a blog on the subject and associate your name with
IPv6 by tagging. Also, by blogging you’ll learn a lot just by having to explain it. You’ll
have your own book before you know it.

Deadlines (artificial or otherwise) create a sense of urgency
that turns to an emergency. The urgency to change hard-coded circuits that
cannot compute a year higher than 1999 brought a gold rush for Y2K experts. In
the end, Y2K was a lot of hype. Though this may be as well, we won’t know until 2012. In the meantime, the deadline
is set and the clock is ticking.

— Dino Londis