Students help test IPv6 in Australia - “Best School Day Ever!”

Stephen Gillies, Editor

“The successful Australian test of IPv6 – the next generation of Internet Protocol – has cleared the way for full implementation”, said Narelle Clark, Vice President of the Internet Society of Australia (ISOC-AU) and coordinator of Australia's activities.

On 8 June 2011, hundreds of Australian websites, organisations and individual Internet users took the opportunity to join the worldwide collaboration to begin operational implementation of IPv6 on the Internet.

ISOC-AU organised a special testing exercise where two school classes – one high school, one primary school - were given the challenge to 'break the Internet' on World IPv6 Day.

Participating students were given access to the the IPv6 Internet courtesy of Studentnet ™ and IPv6Now, even though the schools' current infrastructure only supports IPv4, together with a structured experience of the Internet of the future, based on IPv6.

“Network administrators have been communicating busily for the last 48 hours in preparing and managing IPv6 based networks for 8 June”, said Narelle Clark. “Our conclusion from reports so far, is that IPv6 is ready for mainstream implementation, but more detailed analysis of IPv6 Day performance will continue to uncover any underlying issues, especially for the user experience with older equipment.

“IPv6 just worked on the day”, said Tony Hill, who has been coordinating Australia's discussion of IPv6 since 2005, with the help of the worldwide IPv6 Forum.

“This has been the best school day ever!”, one of the school students was overheard to say.

Organisations are also thinking about security while rolling out IPv6, according to a recent Cisco survey. In an April survey of 101 senior IT executives, 92 percent said their security teams were involved in the transition project. About 60 percent of the respondents reported they were concerned about the transition introducing security vulnerabilities in their environment.

Cisco's survey also found that 78% of senior IT leaders queried have made or are currently making the transition to IPv6. More than half have either sought or plan to seek assistance of outside consultants during the transition, and 92% said their security team is involved in the transition.

Also, 54% deemed the move essential to the organisation, while 73% were concerned about "missing out on the benefits" of IPv6, Cisco said. Of those surveyed, 63% said that an executive committee is overseeing the effort.