Fourteen years after the Internet visionaries at the IETF first developed IPv6, there are still a vast majority of IT people who do not know about IPv6. There is still a significant lack of educational resources for people to learn about this "new" protocol. This has created an "IPv6 brain drain" in many organizations. Many people in IT are looking for low-cost and accurate sources of information on the protocol. If you have not yet started to learn about IPv6, then 2012 will give you plenty of opportunities to jump-start your knowledge of IPv6. This article covers the many IPv6 events that provide information to help you ramp up on IPv6.
2012 North American IPv6 Summit
One of the lowest cost conferences on IPv6 is the 2012 North American IPv6 Summit. The 2012 North American IPv6 Summit event taking place at the Grand Hyatt Denver, Colorado on April 9-11, 2012. This event is being coordinated by the Rocky Mountain IPv6 Summit and the other regional IPv6 Task Forces.
This IPv6 Summit is the largest IPv6 event in North America and has had an increased in attendees each year. This increase in conference attendees shows the increased interest in IPv6 in North America.
This year's IPv6 Summit has the full support of the North American Regional IPv6 Task Forces. These regional IPv6 Task Forces all operate under the IPv6 Forum banner and focus to aid IPv6 adoption in these geographic regions. These groups are all collaborating on this year's IPv6 Summit to make it even larger.
This year the amount of information on IPv6 has increased significantly. The conference has expanded to 3 days with multiple tracks. On the first day (Monday April 9, 2012) of the conference you can sign up for additional full-day IPv6 hands-on tutorials. These are optional training that is available that is available for an additional price over the 2-day conference. The introduction to IPv6 pre-conference tutorial is a class that is intended for anyone who wants to start learning about the Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6). This class provides an introduction to the protocol and cover the basic structure of the protocol headers. This class will cover the primary drivers for IPv6, and why businesses and organizations will want to adopt use of IPv6 in their networks. If you have little or no exposure to IPv6, then this class will teach you what you need to know about the impending industry transition to IPv6.
The advanced IPv6 configuration and testing class is intended to teach advanced concepts of IPv6. This class builds on the knowledge and experience that you have already received in other IPv6 classes or self-study. This class assumes that you understand the basic concepts of IPv6 and have a solid foundation in IPv4 addressing, routing, DNS, DHCP, and applications. This class assumes that you have some limited hands-on experience with IPv6. This class also assumes that you know how to use a protocol analyzer and are familiar with capturing and observing IP packets. This class teaches more advanced concepts that you will need to help you deploy IPv6 in your organization's network. This class will provide you knowledge of IPv6 configuration and troubleshooting techniques.
On the second day (Tuesday April 10, 2012) there are keynote presentations and panels of industry experts. On the third day (Wednesday April 11, 2012) there will be three simultaneous tracks of industry experts sharing valuable information to help you plan your IPv6 deployment.
This is a lot of IPv6 information available in just a few days. Registration is $500 for the 2-day conference (April 10-11, 2012). Optionally, you can register to attend one of the full-day pre-conference tutorials taking place on Monday April 9, 2012. These is an additional cost: $500 for the Introduction to IPv6 tutorial and $600 for the Advanced IPv6 tutorial. Registration for these tutorials is done on the same registration site.
If you can't make it to Denver for the IPv6 Summit, there will be DVDs offered through The Source of Knowledge that will contain the full conference proceedings, presentations, and audio and video of the sessions. Those will be available for purchase after the conference.
You can keep up to date on the latest information on the IPv6 Summit. You can follow the RMv6TF group on twitter @RockyMtn_IPv6. The RMv6TF has a LinkedIn group and the RMv6TF also shared information via Facebook.
Network World IPv6 Events
In December 13, 2011, Network World hosted their "The Critical Path to IPv6" event in New York City. This was a one-day IPv6 event that was actually free to attend for qualified NWW readers. This event was very well attended and the attendees were pleased with what they learned that day. Network World is going to have several more of these events in the May/June 2012 timeframe in Chicago and San Francisco. Keep looking at the Network World Events Site for future announcements.
Infoblox IPv6 Events
Infoblox conducts many IPv6-related seminars and workshops around the country. You should check out their events page to find out if there is a physical coming to your town or virtual event you want to attend. This group also publishes a list of useful IPv6 tools and resources and third-party tools. There is also a blog that contains interesting IPv6-related articles.
World IPv6 Launch
The Internet Society (ISOC) helped coordinate the activities for last year's World IPv6 Day on June 8, 2011. This year on June 6, 2012 they are coordinating and promoting World IPv6 Launch. This is an event where major content providers, service providers, and other companies and organizations permanently deploy dual-protocol connectivity. Their site provides you information on how you and your company can participate.
The Internet Society also offers a test web site to help you validate your IPv6 connectivity and help you determine if your organization may experience any problems that you will need to correct prior to June 6.
The Internet Society maintains an Events Calendar that is a good source of knowing what is going on in the IPv6-community. This calendar can help you find out about an IPv6-related training event in a city near you.
Cisco's annual technical conference called Cisco Live is also a great place to learn about IPv6. Over the past 10 years, Cisco has continued to increase the number of sessions on IPv6-related technologies. This last year's Cisco Live event had over 10 IPv6 sessions. There are sessions that provide an introduction to IPv6, sessions on configuration and troubleshooting IPv6 routing protocols, IPv6 deployment strategies for service provider backbones, IPv6 deployment for enterprises, IPv6 security, IPv6 configuration in UC systems, and IPv6 in mobile networks.
Texas IPv6 Task Force
The Texas IPv6 Task Force (TXv6TF) is another North American regional IPv6 Task Force. Their mission is similar to the RMv6TF and the other regional task forces. For the past few years the TXv6TF has hosted a free-to-attend event that has provided organizations valuable information to help them with their IPv6 deployments. The Texas IPv6 Task Force is in the midst of planning their next event that will take place later this year. You can learn more about this group and their past and future events at their dual-protocol web site.
California IPv6 Task Force
The California IPv6 Task Force (CAv6TF) has been helping organizations learn and deploy IPv6 since 2004. The CAv6TF was one of the first North American regional IPv6 Task Forces. Their early work on the Metronet6 project gave them a target for performing research and development on IPv6 and sharing that information to help us all understand the characteristics of IPv6 that can help everyone.
Ed Horley, who leads the CAv6TF, is also a leader in the North America IPv6 Task Force organization and helps coordinate IPv6 activities. The North America IPv6 Task Force web site is another good source of information on upcoming IPv6 events. The CAv6TF and gogoNET LIVE! host an IPv6 conference, typically in the winter time.
gogoNET LIVE! IPv6 Events
gogo6 hosts the gogoNET social network as platform for networking professionals to learn IPv6 from each other (60,000 members) and provides free IPv6 connectivity with its Freenet6 tunnel broker service (180,000 users). As an extension to its IPv6 community gogo6, in association with the CAv6TF and the IPv6 Forum, produces gogoNET LIVE! which is a mashup of a traditional conference and social media. They will hold their third event in San Jose, California on November 6 - 8, 2012.
If you have procrastinated learning about IPv6, then this is the year where you will have plenty of opportunities to learn about it. I strongly encourage you to learn more about IPv6 in 2012 because your company will depend on you to lead them through the transition to IPv6 in the coming years. There are plenty of IPv6-related events and very likely one nearby.