31 August 2011 - The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) is leading a national effort to build up a pool of IPv6-trained manpower in Singapore, to ensure that the country's ICT industry is well-positioned to take advantage of new opportunities in the IPv6 world.

With the depletion of IPv4 addresses, the Internet community will be moving towards adopting IPv6 technologies. In view of this, IDA sees the need to develop a local pool of IPv6 competent workforce, to support IPv6 adoption.

IDA recently called for a tender to identify a training provider to deliver IPv6 knowledge and skills training to two key target groups - the current workforce of ICT professionals, and the future workforce which comprises students from institutes of higher learning (IHLs) such as the universities, polytechnics and Institutes of Technical Education.

For the current workforce which includes network planners, network administrators and other ICT professionals, the aim is to provide certified IPv6 training courses to ensure that they are equipped with the necessary IPv6 skills to handle IPv6 related tasks such as administration, IPv6 implementation and operational tasks. The courses will cover topics such as IPv6 packet generation and detection, network configuration, IPv6 routing protocols, and steps to migrate to IPv6. Each training programme will include theory, a hands-on component, and an examination.

In addition to this cohort, IDA is also targeting to train ICT professionals to become IPv6-certified trainers who will, in turn, be able to conduct IPv6 courses to train more ICT professionals with IPv6 skills and to develop their own courseware if required.

For the second target group - the students - IDA's main aim is to ensure that they are equipped with IPv6 knowledge prior to joining the IT workforce. This target group will be able to handle IPv6-related tasks and job requirements upon graduation. To deliver this, the training provider will have to develop an IPv6 training programme consisting of IPv6 course modules and an evaluation quiz to be offered to the IHLs.

"We would like to see the training provider establish strong collaborations with the various IHLs and to deliver IPv6 training using various mechanisms, for example, incorporating IPv6 modules into the existing school curriculum, conducting IPv6 workshops or organising industry-sharing sessions on IPv6 implementation experiences," said Mr Eddy Leong, Manager, IPv6 task force at IDA.

Students targeted will be drawn mainly from second and third-year polytechnic students, especially those pursuing diplomas in information technology or network systems, as well as university students doing relevant networking or ICT modules under Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Computer Engineering.

IDA targets to train a sizeable pool of ICT professionals and students over the next two years.

The IPv6 Competency Tender, which was closed in August, has been awarded to Progreso Networks.

Source: http://www.ida.gov.sg/Technology/20110831122738.aspx

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Adoption Guide Outlines Strategy for IPv6 Transition

13 April 2011 - An IPv6 adoption guide has been developed for various stakeholders in the IPv6 ecosystem as part of efforts by IDA to drive IPv6 adoption in Singapore and to encourage efficient use of the remaining pool of IPv4 addresses to minimise the risks of depletion. The guide was produced as part of the second phase of an in-depth study commissioned by IDA to shed light on the current status of IPv6 adoption in Singapore and provide guidance in formulating the next steps. The study was conducted by Analysys Mason and Tech Mahindra.

Speaking at the IPv6 Technical Conference on 13 April 2011, Mr Tony Haigh, Project Director with Analysys Mason, noted that there has been limited adoption of IPv6 due to the lack of hard deadlines and the existence of acceptable workarounds such as NAT (network address translation) and DHCP (dynamic host configuration protocol). There has also been a lack of understanding of the business and financial benefits of adopting IPv6.

"IPv6 is not just a technical issue, it is also a commercial issue," said Mr Haigh. "IPv6 adoption is important if Singapore is to maintain its position in the global IP ecosystem. The impact on economic growth can be quite severe if IPv6 adoption is limited."

The adoption guide aims to offer pragmatic advice on the sequence of events each stakeholder group should go through to achieve IPv6 readiness. The stakeholder categories are: system vendors, Internet service providers, network providers, service providers and end users.

According to Mr Haigh, the activities to enable IPv6 transition follow a broadly similar sequence for all the groups.

The first stage is planning, which involves raising IPv6 awareness and identifying products, applications and services that are required to operate in an IPv6 environment. "IP is used in a lot of places, for example, in embedded operating systems and machine-to-machine applications. Some of these may not be IPv6 compatible, so we have to check all the systems."

The second stage, architecture and design, involves making detailed architecture/design changes to IPv6-enable hardware, systems and applications. This is followed by the implementation of the IPv6 transition plan. The fourth stage - support - is where the necessary processes and procedures are put in place to support IPv6 products, services and applications after their implementation.

For the different stakeholders, there will be variations in the time scale for each stage. System vendors, for example, potentially have the longest lead time depending on product complexity. However, all the stakeholder groups interconnect, and there are many technical and financial interdependencies throughout the ecosystem. "The implementation timing must reflect these relationships," said Mr Haigh. "The ecosystem is quite complex. Everything needs to move together."

Source: http://www.ida.gov.sg/Technology/20110414110718.aspx

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