As IPv4 Runs Out, Free Certification Points the Way to IPv6
At the start of this month (July 2015) the American Registry for Internet Numbers (aka ARIN) announced that it is now enforcing an "unmet requests" policy. In plain English, this means IPv4 addresses available for this part of the world have more or less run out.
Companies and organizations such as ISPs that want blocks of IPv4 addresses must now sign up for a wait list, and take whatever comes along whenever — or if ever — more IPv4 addresses become available. Only, with gazillions of IPv6 addresses readily available, why bother? That's where Hurricane Electric's excellent and free IPv6 certifications come into play.
Hurricane Electric, abbreviated HE, is a leading North American (and global) ISP, and one of the first to offer companies and organizations a variety of technologies to permit them to establish or maintain a native IPv6 presence on the Internet. (This includes a very nice IPv6 Tunnel Broker, which lets you manage a native IPv6 connection to HE through another ISP, even if they themselves support only IPv4.)
The pinnacle cert in the HE program is the IPv6 Sage, but this free program's credentials occupy six levels. Earning each different certification requires reading and experimentation, and then passing an increasingly complex and challenging series of labs and exams to climb to the next rung on their certification ladder.
Everyone starts out as a Newbie, then individuals climb to Explorer, Enthusiast, Administrator, Professional and Guru, before taking the final step up to the Sage level. I blogged about this program back in 2011 (Hurricane Electric Free IPv6 Certification), as I was researching the current edition of my college textbook Guide to TCP/IP (4th edition), and again in 2013 (IT CertMaster Lists 3 Free and Good IT Certifications).
With the billions and billions of devices that are expected to show up on the "Internet of Things" in the near future, as well as the absolute paucity of IPv4 addresses available now and in years ahead, anybody who works with networking absolutely needs to get on top of IPv6. What better way to dig into this subject matter than to tackle the free (and fairly fun) HE IPv6 credentials? Learn more at the HE IPv6 Certification page.