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Keeping You Connected with IPv6

By Laura Yates

Published March 14, 2014

The world is quickly running out of IP addresses. Don't panic, UBIT is on the case.

“We're taking a very methodical approach enabling IPv6 to not disrupt the current network infrastructure and maintain stability.”
Tony Casciano, Project Manager
Network & Classroom Services

Laura Yates (UBIT Staff) is a valuable member of UB Information Technology and has worked for UB for 30 years, most recently as part of the IT Policy & Communication team. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her grandson and taking walks with her dog, Freckles.

Wait...What's an IP Address?

Every Internet-connected device acquires a unique number known as an IP address in order to connect to the global network. The problem with current Internet Protocol addresses, known as IPv4, is that the number of IP addresses is not nearly enough to cover the entire world's devices.

IPv6 solves the problem of an address shortage by proposing a new addressing scheme that can accommodate needs for years to come. Without IPv6 addresses, connectivity would eventually come to a halt.

How Soon Is UB Affected?

The supply of available IPv4 addresses has already run out in Asia Pacific and will soon follow in Europe and the Middle East. With more than 5,000 international students hailing from 115 countries (and more enrolling each year), UB has been working on an upgrade to IPv6 since 2012.  Check to see the status of your country's IPv6 deployment rate

So, What's UB Doing?

Although IPv6 has been around for several years, changing over to IPv6 has been a slow process globally. At UB, implementing IPv6 will take some time and will be accomplished in several phases. The first phase concluded October 2013 by completing a Proof of Concept (POC) which determined the requirements for a successful implementation of IPv6 in UB's computing infrastructure.

With both IPv4 and IPv6 now enabled on the core backbone of UB’s data network, the next phase is to enable IPv6 wherever it's needed. Tony Casciano, Project Manager for Network and Classroom Services (NCS) said, “We're taking a very methodical approach enabling IPv6 to not disrupt the current network infrastructure and maintain stability." Once UB is enabled with IPv6, devices can access both IP addresses (IPv4 and IPv6) and never lose connectivity.

Locations and services are being carefully selected and prioritized for IPv6.  Identifying and enabling low vs. high risk services will be done after careful evaluation and testing.  

What Steps Can I Take?

Most current smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers have a single setting that allows you to enable IPv6 when the time comes. Visit test-ipv6.com to see if your device configuration will accommodate IPv6. You won't be required to use IPv6 at this time, but running both IP protocols will allow devices to use IPv6 as soon as your location is enabled. 

At this time, IPv4 may take a few years to completely phase out. However, as more of the world adopts IPv6, IPv4-only machines may not be able to easily communicate with all of the services they desire.

Look for instructions to make the switch to IPv6 in future news articles.   The goal of UB's IPv6 project team is to complete the the transition to IPv6 by January 2018.

 

Where Can I Find Updates?

Stay tuned for more news on IPv6 in the months to come.  Notifications for any scheduled maintenance on the network will be posted on the UBIT Alerts page.

If you're interested in learning more about IPv6, check out Get Ready for UB's Switch to IPv6.