Thursday, June 2, 2011

European research networks ready for IPv6 future

CAMBRIDGE, UK: Research networks across Europe have issued a reminder that they have successfully deployed the IPv6 protocol, the next generation of internet addressing technology. Working with network co-ordination centre Réseaux IP Européens (RIPE), research networks have achieved IPv6 compliance and will be taking a leading part in next week’s World IPv6 Day (8 June 2011), which tests IPv6 compatibility.

The phenomenal global growth of the internet is leading to a shortage of internet addresses under the existing IPv4 protocol, which will stop new devices being connected in the near future. IPv6 provides enough addresses (340 trillion) to allow the internet to continue to expand and the industry to innovate. It is not, however, directly compatible with IPv4, meaning that devices and networks need to be upgraded to allow IPv6 connections.

“Research networks have always been at the forefront of innovation, not only providing leading edge services to users but acting as a proving ground for new technology, with the IPv6 protocol a perfect example,” said Matthew Scott, GM of DANTE, the organisation which on behalf of Europe’s National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) has built and operates the GÉANT network. “The shortage of internet addresses under IPv4 is a very real and pressing problem, but thanks to the efforts of Europe’s research and education networks vital projects and international collaboration will continue and expand under IPv6.”

The latest European research networks, such as the high speed GÉANT pan-European network and many of Europe’s national networks have been built from the outset on the IPv6 protocol, and acted as an early test-bed for the technology. NRENs in Finland (Funet), France (RENATER), Ireland (HEAnet), Italy (GARR), Luxembourg (RESTENA), Netherlands (SURFnet), Norway (UNINETT), Portugal (FCCN) and Slovenia (ARNES) have all highlighted their capabilities ahead of World IPv6 Day.

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