Website transition to new version begins

Griffith University is unlikely to ever run out of web addresses now that it has begun the transition to the newest Internet Protocol (IPv6).

June 6 2012 was set aside as a calendar landmark for the transition to the new regime of Internet Protocol version 6 (hence IPv6) and since then, the changeover has been pursued in earnest.

Alongside Internet Service Providers (ISP) like Telstra and web companies like Facebook and Google, parts of the massive Griffith website will run on IPv6.

Network & Communication Services manager, Peter Kurtz, said Griffith University was the latest university to embrace IPv6.

“In Australia, a lot of organisations have registered interest in IPv6 but not many have taken it to the next step like Griffith has in actually making their website permanently available on IPv6.”

IPv6 was developed to replace the current Internet Protocol IPv4, which is running out of space to host IP addresses.

Griffith University has 65,000 allocated IP addresses with IPv4 but will use up these addresses in the next 5 years.

By making the change to IPv6, Mr Kurtz says Griffith will have a new address range of 79,228,162,514,264,337,593,543,950,336 addresses – a very big number.

To put this in perspective the Internet currently has over four billion IP addresses and with IPv6 Griffith will have over 19 billion x billion times the size of the Internet.

Mr Kurtz says that this address range should meet the future growth of Griffith’s IT Services including the University’s website. By replacing IPv4 with IPv6, the continuous growth of the Internet and Griffith part in that is guaranteed.

“Another benefit of IPv6 is not only will we solve the address problem but we will also improve the Internet performance between IPv6 to IPv6 Internet services,” said Mr Kurtz.

However, IPv4 is not compatible with IPv6 and therefore a user with IPv4 will not experience the improved performance when accessing an IPv6 website. The transition to IPv6 will take a number of years and during that period the Griffith University website will run on both. The Griffith IT-department is working hard to migrate to IPv6 in time.

“We have a small but effective working team.

“We brought the IPv6 Griffith website online so when students come in from an IPv6 network they can directly access the website using IPv6,” said Mr Kurtz.