The UCSB NOC is working on IPv6 deployment on campus core network systems and related accounting, security, and support services. Network administrators are encouraged to begin planning for IPv6 deployment within their networks, and make IPv6 compatibility a requirement of new systems.
The Internet is an interconnected set of networks, with each network having a unique set of addresses. These addresses are in a format known as IPv4, and are typically represented as four numbers separated by periods, such as "126.96.36.199". Due to the explosive growth of the Internet and the resulting high demand for address allocations for new networks, IPv4 address space is rapidly depleting. Current projections indicate there will no longer be IPv4 addresses available for new networks around June, 2011. UCSB has sufficient IPv4 address space to operate well beyond this date, but off-campus peers may find themselves forced to use IPv6, thus UCSB should deploy IPv6 to ensure connectivity to new off-campus networks.
IPv6 was developed to address a number of perceived shortcomings of IPv4, including the relatively small total address space available for allocation. While a larger set of addresses is a key benefit and driver for adoption of IPv6, the fact that it is fundamentally a new type of network protocol means equipment vendors, software developmers, and network administrators will all have to work together to ensure a successful deployment.
UCSB has received an allocation of IPv6 address space, "2607:f378::/32", which is currently being routed to off-campus locations and across campus core routers. DNS and NTP services are accessible via IPv6, and other services are under development.
The NOC will continue working on the required core routing, security, and support services. Hostmaster will develop appropriate allocation policies and practices. Departments may apply for IPv6 address space once these activities are completed.
Development efforts are needed to guide network administrators in the purchase and configuration of IPv6-capable systems. In general terms, whatever one does with IPv4 must be duplicated with IPv6, since dual-stack (i.e. systems with concurrent IPv4 and IPv6 operation) is likely to be required for years to come.