Cisco Learning Network offers IPv6 assistance

IPv6 keyboard

Good news if there's nothing you feel like watching on Netflix: Cisco learning has just launched a new video series. Its subject: IPv6 routing.


IPv6 is the internet protocol system finalized in 1998 to replace the current system, IPv4. IPv4 had almost reached capacity as early as 2008 — while most providers and vendors were just beginning to prepare for it — and this year, for the first time, the number of IPv4 addresses connecting to Google services dipped below 96 percent. By contrast, IPv6 uses 128-bit addresses, allowing it an address capacity that beats out IPv4's 32-bit capacity by 7.9x1028 times. To use another comparison, IPv6 has space for about 100 addresses for every atom on the surface of the earth.


If this type of upgrade seems a little extreme, it may be useful to remember that it's not just businesses and home computer users who need IP addresses anymore. The days of "one person, one computer, one IP" are quickly going and are even mostly gone. In their place, we welcome the days of the so-called "Internet of Things." Everything is going online, from cars to phones to appliances and even to animals, and they all need unique IP addresses.


IPv6 meets that demand handily; using IPv6, some ISPs assign over 18 quintillion addresses per customer. That should be more than enough to let your devices communicate with you, each other, and anybody (or anything) else they need to. Additionally, IPv6 streamlines routing and packet processing, simplifies network configuration, and was designed with security in mind (IPsec was designed alongside IPv6, but reengineered for IPv4). Really, the biggest downside to IPv6 is getting it implemented.


Which brings us back to Cisco Learning's new video series. The series, titled "Cisco IPv6 Routing Catalogue," purports to train users on the "powerful, cost-efficient, large-scale IP-based networks that most industries demand." The twenty-one videos in the series range from about four-and-a-half minutes to a half-hour in length, and include a demo of IPv6 addressing, establishing network connectivity, troubleshooting specifics, and an overview of the requirements for facilitating IPv6 traffic on an IPv4 network. All of the videos are free to Cisco Learning's premium subscribers (the subscription costs $10 per month or $99 per year), but seven of the videos are also available as previews and can be viewed on the series page.


It's a great resource for anyone who works in networking. And if you have any networking certs in your future, you can probably expect to need to know IPv6 like the back of yourhand.


The substance of the videos is fairly straightforward. John H. Mansholt (CCSI, CCNA Routing and Switching, CCNA Security) guides the viewer through full-screen slides containing theory, followed by screencapture demonstrations. The videos are divided into seven subjects, and the first of the three videos for every subject is available to preview. The topics are Implementing OSPFv3 for IPv6, Implementing IPv6 Addressing and Basic Connectivity, Implementing 6to4 Tunneling, Implementing OSPFv3 for IPv6 IPsec Authentication Support, Implementing EIGRP for IPv6, Implementing iBGP for IPv6, and Implementing IPsec for IPv6—all using Cisco IOS software rel. 15.2 series.


It's clearly going to take a lot of implementation to make IPv6 the new standard. With help from Cisco, you can pitch in and implement to your heart's content.

Would you like more insight into the history of hacking? Check out Calvin's other articles about historical hackery:
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David Telford

David Telford is a short-attention-span renaissance man and university student. His current project is the card game MatchTags, which you can find on Facebook and Kickstarter.