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Dec 14 2010   4:39PM GMT

Cisco Ups Its IPv6 Ante with Strong Cert Coverage

Ed Tittel Ed Tittel Profile: Ed Tittel

I held a very interesting phone conversation with Fred Weiller yesterday. Mr. Weiller is Director of Marketing for Cisco Learning, and our appointed topic of conversation was coverage of and focus on IPv6 protocols, tools, and technologies across Cisco’s learning portfolio. This conversation came in the wake of my reading a November press release from the company entitled “Cisco Extends Market Leadership in IPv6 With Industry And Government Certifications,” wherein I learned that in addition to getting its equipment and software vetted for compliance with US Government IPv6 certification requirements (usually abbreviated as USGv6) the company has also updated its certification education materials and exams to include substantial IPv6 coverage as well.

In particular here’s what the aforecited press release has to say about Cisco Learning and IPv6 coverage:

The IPv6 Forum has recognized Learning@Cisco’s  professional networking portfolio with Gold Certifications for CCNA, CCNP and CCIE Routing and Switching. Cisco is the first vendor to be certified by the IPv6 Forum to offer IPv6 education and certification to help ensure that the technical community is equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to design, deploy, operate and troubleshoot IPv6 networks and applications.

Given recent reports that IPv4 addresses are nearly exhaused (see, for example, Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols’ ZDNet blog “The Internet is running out of IPv4 gas“) enterprises are joining up with the many governments, research and academic organizations, and service providers (especially outside North America) that are forcibly transitioning their networks to IPv6. As Mr. Weiller put it during our conversation yesterday: “This will involve learning new things, formulating new addressing plans, along with some challenges and effort while making the transition to IPv6.” Despite the hurdles involved, he also spoke of “strong demand from customers who understand that the time for IPv6 is now, and that there can be no more waiting before getting down to work.”

That explains why Cisco now includes broad and deep coverage of IPv6 topics across its learning curriculum — especially for core CCNA, CCNP, and CCIE Routing and Switching topics — and why the company also offers a standalone IPv6 class called the Crush Course: IPv6 that’s designed to help those already certified learn more about IPv6 (or add more IPv6 coverage to existing curriculum materials). Here’s a brief blurb from the course description that lists the topics included:

This course will help network engineers understand, configure, and support Cisco devices running IOS software and covers the IPv6 routing protocols such as RIPng, OSPF and BGP; IPv6 transition mechanisms including tunnels, ISATAP, NAT-PT, and 6to4; and other features.

Other training partners also offer IPv6 Fundamentals courses abbreviated as IPVSF (IPv6 Fundamentals: 2 days, and a pre-requisite for the following class) and IP6FD/IPVSD (IPv6 Fundamentals, Design, and Deployment: 5 days) that more specifically target IOS-based Cisco devices. As Enterprises gear up for the coming IPv6 transition, expect IPv6 coverage to dominate networking topics, both beneath and outside the Cisco umbrella.

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