e.Stream Upgrades Network Infrastructure to be IPv6 compliant.
07 Jul

At the just concluded IPv6 training organized by the Association of Telecommunications Company of Nigeria (ATCON) and African Network Information Centre (AFRINIC) Nigeria last month, co-sponsors of the event e.Stream Networks a leading broadband connectivity solutions company identified with organizers on the need to sensitize ICT professionals and Telecommunications companies on the benefits of migrating to IPv6.

As the organization embarks on upgrading its network infrastructure to be IPv6 compliant, it has become pertinent to have a healthy understanding on the usefulness of IPv6 in the internet world.

IPv6 is the latest Internet Protocol (IP) that gives an identification and location system for computers on networks and routes traffic across the internet.

Intended to replace IPv4, the latest ugradeIPv6 is designed to allow the Internet to grow steadily, both in terms of the number of hosts connected and the total amount of data traffic transmitted.

Can any good come out from IPv6?

  • In IPv6 the IP address size is increased from 32 bits to 128 bits
  • IPv6 supports a greater number of addressable nodes
  • IPv6 provides more levels of addressing hierarchy
  • IPv6 offers simpler auto-configuration of addresses
  • Ipv6 also supports simplified header format

Increasing the IP address pool was a major factor in the development of IPv6. The biggest benefit of IPv6 is that it will replace the IPv4 32-bit address scheme with a much longer 128-bit address scheme. The IPv4 32-bit address scheme allows for a total of 2^32 addresses while IPv6 allows for 2^128 total addresses.

The last of the IPv4 addresses are long gone, and IPv6 is here. The move to 128-bit addresses demands a fundamental shift and will force many organizations to rethink the way their networks are defended. With the availability of a lot more IP addresses which is more than enough to the point that there could be an IP address for every grain of sand on earth let alone Laptops, smartphones, web cameras and any other smart device that will ever be manufactured and connected to a corporate network.

The benefits for many organizations of this end-to-end IPv6 connectivity could be very significant indeed.

1. Internet of Things (IoT)

 In the era of ‘things’ there would be need for more IP addresses which the IPv6 will address.

2. Support for New Services
By eliminating Network Address Translation (NAT), true end-to-end connectivity at the IP layer is restored, enabling new and valuable services. Peer-to-peer networks are easier to create and maintain, and services such as VoIP and Quality of Service (QoS) become more robust.

3. Security
IPSec, which provides confidentiality, authentication and data integrity, is baked into in IPv6. Because of their potential to carry malware, IPv4 ICMP packets are often blocked by corporate firewalls, but ICMPv6, the implementation of the Internet Control Message Protocol for IPv6, may be permitted because IPSec can be applied to the ICMPv6 packets.

HOW DO COMPANIES GET READY?

  1. Annual IPv6 trainings and Certifications for IT professionals, Network professionals and Engineers, to equip them with the required skills needed for IPv6 deployment.
  2. Ensuring that all recently purchased networking equipment purchased are IPv6 compliant
  3. Set up a research and development team to conduct a pilot test before mass upgrade.
IPv6: Firms Seek Concessions on Equipment Type Approval
28 Jun

To speed up migration of networks to the Internet Protocol Version six (IPv6), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) should be considerate on equipment type approval charges, said information and communication technology (ICT) experts in Lagos.

The experts who gathered at a recent three-day workshop organised by the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) for network engineers, said that the present economic realities are taking tolls on service providers hence the call for NCC to protect local business too.

Although, the speakers could not determine the cost implications of migration from IPv4 to v6, they however expect a huge financial burden as hybrid of equipment currently used must be replaced to effect swift migration.

“With regards to IPv6 migration, what e-Stream expects, as a service provider in the industry, is for the NCC as a regulator, to be lenient on type approval fees”, Mr. Ogungboye Muyiwa, managing director and chief executive officer, eStream Networks.

Mr. Muyiwa lamented that smaller indigenous operators shall be largely affected due to the persistent foreign exchange challenge faced by the industry.

He said, “Truly, right now there are equipment that are IPv6 compatible, but to a large extent some are not compatible. We have to change all these ones. There is no way NCC will not come up with different kinds of approval fees. Usually, the fees aren’t favourable to the (small) local players.

“Local players do not have deep pockets like the foreign investors. I expect the Nigerian Government through the NCC, to support the local players. We can’t continue relying on dollar which is obviously too expensive. I can’t compete with MTN, particularly, at the present circumstances. If they charge MTN $1million, they will easily pay. But if they charge me (eStream) such amount, invariably, they want us to wind up. If all of us fold-up, who will then continue to run ‘Nigerian Businesses’?

Mr. Teniola Olusola, president of ATCON also said it has become obvious that local businesses, like their foreign counterparts, need cover from the government.

He regretted that the Central Bank of Nigeria’s position on the 41 blacklisted items from accessing forex has not been reversed.

“The CBN’s position on the 41 items hasn’t changed. The pronouncement made about two years ago is still in effect. As far as the 41 items are concerned, you cannot access CBN’s forex mechanism. It doesn’t mean you can’t get dollars, but it pushes you to the parallel market.

“It is very important to support the local people. If not, the local content in ICT campaign would become a mirage”, he said.

On his part, Mr. Abba Brice, AFRINIC representative said that while Companies are worried about securing compatible equipment, they should not lose focus on trainings for requisite skill-sets to drive the new era.

According to him, the success of adopting IPv6 depends on competent engineers to manage the networks.

According to him, AFRINIC understands the migration is capital intensive, but as more and more businesses are supporting VoIP, telework (i.e. videoconferences) and mobile work policies, removing dependency on network address translation (NAT) can dramatically increase network simplicity.

To Mr. Ayotunde Coker, managing director of Rack Centre, the prevalence of cyberthreats portents that the industry must urgently migrate to IPv6.

This, Mr. Coker said, allows companies to keep IP addresses public, but still secure when transmitting between private networks.

Reacting to the operators’ concerns, Professor Umar Danbatta, the executive vice chairman of NCC, said that The Commission has commenced the development of the Internet Industry Code of Practice document that will guide the Commission and the Internet Industry.

Prof. Danbatta who spoke through Engineer Haru Alhassan, the Commission’s director, New Media and Information Security, reiterated that the proposed Internet Code of Practice will lead ultimately to the establishment of shared principles, Norms, Rules that shape the use of the Internet in the Country.

News Credit: Nigerian Communication Week

Striking a better work-life balance
28 Mar

Compounding stress from the never ending workday is damaging.

It could hurt relationships, health and overall happiness.

When you find yourself struggling to meet the 5pm or 6pm deadline Mondays-Fridays, be rest assured that your stress level has gone up and some things are not quite balanced up yet.

There will always be a juggle between career demands and personal life but the tips below will help you strike gold in achieving a work-life balance that best suits you.

You may have to set some limits for the sole purpose of looking after yourself.

  1. Keep track of and manage your time: Cut down on working long hours and focus on your outcomes. Trim internet surfing that obstructs your work. Limit interaction with less constructive people and devote quality time to high priority people and activities.
  2. Keep fit: It is well known that exercise is a stress reducer, increases blood flow and oxygen levels in the brain. Embrace a work-out routine that best suits you. This could help reduce the risk of heart diseases and high blood pressure.
  3. Get enough sleep: Not getting enough sleep can lead to a host of negative outcomes which can make it hard to effectively juggle work and life. Negative outcomes like Increased stress levels, decreased decision making ability, negative attitude at work and home can be averted if one gets enough sleep. This could also require you leaving work at work and trying to leave the office early at least twice a week so you have more sleep time.
  4. Change the structure of your life: The first thing to consider here would be your diet. Have a healthy diet. Make sure to embrace vegetables and fruits and avoid food with high calories. Consider taking up a new hobby and be committed to it. Take a trip annually or bi-annually depending on your budget. See the world and meet new people. In short, take a break from the norm!
  5. Volunteering: Most people don’t see the importance of volunteering but it’s a brilliant way to enhance your life. By volunteering, you can learn new skills, pass on knowledge and put your existing skills to good use. Volunteering can reduce your stress level, boost your social and emotional well-being.

“Resilient people feel a greater sense of control over their lives. Reactive people have less control and are more prone to stress.”

Striking a better work-life balance gives you more control of your life.

It’s a continuous process so you may have to examine your priorities and make changes where necessary. This will keep you on track.

Striking a better work-life balance gives you more control of your life.

It’s a continuous process so you may have to examine your priorities and make changes where necessary. This will keep you on track.