Khalid Warraich, chief information officer

CMU-Q lends expertise to Qatar-wide transition to new internet protocol

Over the past several months, Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar has worked closely with Qatar’s Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA) and Qatar University to create guidelines for Qatar organizations to transition to Internet Protocol, version 6 (IPv6). The guidelines were released in December to all stakeholders within Qatar who must adapt their networks to support the new protocol.

The transition will ensure that Qatar’s network infrastructure is prepared for the increased connectivity that will come as more devices come online, a particular concern for World Cup 2022 when the demand for connectivity will dramatically increase.

CMU-Q’s chief information officer, Khalid Warraich, has represented the university on the CRA IPv6 Taskforce, and the CMU-Q information technology team has been instrumental in preparing the guidelines and creating a testbed to train Qatar’s network administrators to make the transitions in their networks.

Warraich said: “CMU-Q is dedicated to Qatar’s digital future, and we are pleased to lend our expertise to the nation-wide transition to IPv6. This has been a fruitful and productive collaboration, and the handbook we have developed will providestakeholders the tools to implement a dual-stacked IPv6/IPv4 environment efficiently and within the timeline.”

The number of connecting devices continues to increase dramatically. Currently, most networks within Qatar use IPv4, which supports about four billion devices directly communicating over the internet. In comparison, IPv6 can support a virtually unlimited number of devices. CRA’s taskforce evaluated the challenges of transitioning to IPv6 and determined that the most seamless solution was a dual-stack approach, which would allow networks to handle both protocols simultaneously.

Warraich notes that now that the guidelines are available to stakeholders within Qatar, CMU-Q will continue to assist with the country’s transition to IPv6: “Preparing the guidelines was simply the first step in the transition. We will continue to support the taskforce by opening up CMU-Q’s dual-stacked testbed so they can do the necessary IPv6 testing and assist other organizations as they implement the new protocol.”