A Look at the Course on IPv6 Offered at AndinaLink

30/03/2022

By Alejandro Acosta, R&D Coordinator at LACNIC

I recently had the chance to attend AndinaLink 2022, the International Telecommunications and Convergent Technologies Fair held in Colombia, as well as the honor of teaching the IPv6 workshop. This meeting was very special for several reasons.

First, AndinaLink 2020 was where we held our last face-to-face course that year (back-to-back with WISP MX) just before the pandemic. Now, it was the first in-person course we offered in 2022.

Second, attendance far exceeded our expectations: we expected fifty participants, and in the end, the room was at capacity with one hundred and twenty people were present in the room. Such was the success, that the meeting spilled over to another room — also at full capacity — and a Zoom session had to be added.

Finally, for the first time LACNIC included RouterOS (Mikrotik) in the course, which was offered by the organization’s staff.

What aspects of RouterOS did participants work on during the course?

The course began with some initial steps, such as verifying that equipment interfaces were working properly and that the IPv6 package had been installed. A lab was then built on GNS3 with three Mikrotik devices connected to each other (R1 — R2 — R3). In addition, IPv6 was configured in the different interfaces, static routes, loopback interfaces (bridge) and, finally, at the students’ request, BGP was configured and a few IPv6 prefixes were announced.

What is the relevance of this course and this event?

For many years, LACNIC has offered IPv6 courses throughout the region and at all our events. This, however, was the first time that a member of the LACNIC staff taught the course with Mikrotik equipment, which involved weeks of studying, setting up labs, and practices.

Audience feedback

The comments we received from the attendees were extremely positive.  We estimate that, because the course was taught using a well-known platform, it was very easy to follow, interact, and ask questions, while at the same time trying different things even beyond the course. 

Questions and comments were received throughout the day, which translated into careful attention from the audience. We later received e-mail inquiries from at least 25 people.

Why MikroTik?

LACNIC is and will continue to be vendor agnostic. Our courses and workshops have always focused on standards and the operation of the protocol. The courses we offer can be completed using equipment from any vendor. This time, we offered the course using MikroTik at the request of both many LACNIC members and the community in general.

Why hadn’t this been done before?

Traditionally, our courses have been taught using the equipment selected by each trainer.

And what about the other vendors?

We want to talk to everyone!  We at LACNIC have approached several manufacturers and different companies, and have held workshops, meetings, and webinars with many of them. We are open to proposals to carry out joint activities together with other vendors.

Recommendations

LACNIC’s recommendation is to continue to promote IPv6 deployment in an open and stable Internet, without forgetting about security. We will continue to offer courses using different manufacturers with an emphasis on the largest in our region. Mikrotik equipment is popular, and we necessarily have to consider this vendor in most of our training sessions.

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