7/6/11 - LSU has received a new IPv6 address block! LSU's new address space will now be 2620:105:B000::/40. This will provide for 16 times the space that we once had and allow for a more robust network.
4/19/11 - IPv6 World Day is going to be held on June 8, 2011. During this event, many large companies will be making their websites IPv6 capable.
4/13/11 – An IPv6 Working Group has been formed in order to spread awareness across campus and encourage users to begin migrating services to IPv6.
4/13/11 – A Tech Talk on IPv6 was held in Fred C. Frey Computing Services Center, and attendees were briefed on the current IP situation, as well as the actions LSU is taking.
What is IPv6?
IPv6 is the next generation of internet protocol. Since the internet was invented, we’ve been using IPv4; however, on February 3 of this year, the IANA (Internet AssignedLinks to Related Articles: Numbers Authority) gave out its last five /8’s of IPv4 address to RIR’s (Regional Internet Registries). Soon, there will be no more IPv4 addresses available. Although this will not initially affect devices that already have IP addresses, it well affect any new devices that need access to the internet.
The drastic increase in address size will aid in the spread of technology world-wide. As technology continues to advance, more devices will need IP accessibility and IPv6 will provide that. IP will be essential in smart homes that include "smart appliances" like refigerators, ovens, etc. This will not only give the owner access to control the appliances, but potentially will allow vendors to perform remote diagnostics, rather than having to send a technician out to assess the situation first.
IPv6 is a 128 bit address that is written in hexadecimal notation. There are four hexadecimal digits that make up every 16 bits of the address, thus resulting in 8 groups of hexadecimal digits, each separated by colons. There are 3 logical groups in an IPv6 address:
The first 48 bits, belong to the global prefix (LSU’s global prefix – 2620:0105:B000::/40).
The next 16 bits, are the subnet ID.
The final 64 bits, note the interface ID.
For illustration purposes, I will use LSU’s global prefix:
| | | |
Global Prefix Subnet Interface ID
A group of four 0’s, like, :0000: may be abbreviated as :0:. This can be done as many times as needed in an address.
Multiple groups of 0’s may be summarized by placing ::’s in place of the 0’s. This, however, can only be done once in an address.
Preceding 0’s may be omitted from the address. For example, :0da0: -> :da0:
Trailing 0’s may not be omitted.
Since IPv6 uses hexadecimal notation, instead of decimal like IPv4, it is important to have a grasp on the number system. Let’s start with a decimal or base 10 to begin the explanation as everyone is already familiar with this number system. In decimal, we have 10 digits, 0 – 9. When you get past 9, however, there are no more digits; so, we reset to 0 and carry a 1 into the tens spot, giving us 10. In hexadecimal, there are 16 digits; so, once you get past, nine other digits have to be used. Letters A – F are used to satisfy the remaining 6 spaces. Thus, the first 16 digits in hexadecimal are as follows:
0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, A, B, C, D, E, F
When counting past F, hexadecimal follows the same premise as decimal, where a 1 is carried into the next spot in order to continue counting. Therefore, we have D, E, F, 10, 11, 12… 1F, 20, 21, … etc...
Currently, LSU has IPv6 deployed to 80 percent of campus. Below, is a list of the few buildings that don’t currently have IPv6 capability; however, we are currently working on 100 percent coverage for campus. If you don’t see your building on this list, it can be assumed that you already have IPv6.
LSU’s IPv6 Plan
LSU is currently using a dual-stack implementation of IPv6, which means that we are running an IPv6 network on top of our current IPv4 infrastructure. We will be participating in World IPv6 Day and will be using that as a means to bring more IPv6 websites and services online. As time goes on we hope to enable IPv6 on more and more services until the entire campus can be reached via IPv4 and IPv6.