|Fort Scott Community College has rolled out a new network service across their six major campuses. All student and public lab machines have full Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) connectivity to other IPv6 resources around the world. FSCC’s DNS and Web servers now use the protocol as well, and anyone at an IPv6 institution around the world who goes to the college website will be served up the pages using IPv6. This milestone puts FSCC ahead of all Kansas universities and even most Internet2 universities across the country in terms of IPv6 adoption.
IPv6 is the newest iteration of the Internet protocol for packet-switched networks. Although IPv4 is still the predominant protocol connecting nearly all Internet connected PCs, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has designated IPv6 as version 4's successor.
Casey Russell, director of information systems, at FSCC says that IPv6 is gaining ground in research and government installations, as well as in education settings such as FSCC. "Adoption overseas, particularly in Asia is growing quickly.
Adoption in U.S. corporate settings, however, is still very slow," Russell said.
This is not Russell's first IPv6 implementation. Before returning to FSCC in the summer of 2005, Russell worked as a network engineer for the Kansas Research and Education Network (KanREN) in Lawrence and among other things, spoke to university and community college IT personnel about IPv6. His daily duties at KanREN required work with advanced and research protocols like IPv6 and IPv4 Multicast.
"FSCC is able to provide an IPv6 network that extends beyond our own network borders because of the Internet2 connectivity provided by KanREN. Because the switching and routing hardware at FSCC supported IPv6 already, FSCC’s IT staff was able to implement IPv6 with only a minimum amount of time and at no cost to the institution," Russell added.
The 2008 Summer Olympic Games were a landmark event in terms of IPv6 deployment. For the first time, a major, multinational event relied on IPv6 for all of its network operations. It is believed that the Olympics provided the largest showcase ofIPv6 technology since the inception of IPv6.