At 09:00 (am) on Thursday, July 15, 2010, IPv6 will be enabled on the University of Iowa campus network.
IPv6 is version 6 of the Internet Protocol, the successor to the current version 4 of IP in use on the Internet. The primary IPv6 feature driving its deployment is vastly larger address space, solving the IPv4 problem of not having enough addresses for everything which people want to connect to the Internet.
IPv6 is being deployed in parallel with IPv4. They'll run side by side for at least several years, allowing time for devices & applications to add IPv6 functionality before IPv4 is disabled. Most devices will use both IPv4 & IPv6 during the transition. There is currently no date set for disabling IPv4. However, IPv4 addresses are getting scarce, so it is likely that new networks & new devices on existing networks will have to use only IPv6 at some point in the future.
The core of the uiowa campus net has been doing IPv6 for well over a year, including external connectivity (via Internet2). Some key network-related services (DNS & NTP) have been using IPv6 for almost that long. The campus & the Internet in general need to move forward with IPv6 deployment. The next big step for us is on July 15, 2010.
There is some introductory IPv6 information on the ITS help desk web site (http://its.uiowa.edu/ipv6) and more will be added soon. Tech Forum 2010 (Wednesday, May 19 at the IMU) will also have some IPv6 topics. Watch for additional information via mailing lists, IT-related campus groups & events, & the ITS web site (http://its.uiowa.edu/).
Finally, consult your department or college IT support folks about what IPv6 means for your part of the campus net.
Please contact Jay Ford (ITS Network Engineering Group) if you would like IPv6 enabled for your network before July 15; we're considering May 25 as an "early adopter" date. Note that enabling IPv6 for a network applies to the whole network, so everybody on that net should agree to go early.
The University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics & the College of Engineering are responsible for networking within their respective buildings, so their staff will determine & announce their IPv6 deployment plans.